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One Of The Major Artists In The Chicano Art Movement Has Died At 75

m4martinez / raysantisteban / Instagram

On May 29, René Yañez, a man instrumental in shaping and cultivating the Chicano art scene in the Bay Area, died from prostate and bone cancer at age 75. Yañez, an artist, curator and social justice activist was the co-founder of Galería De La Raza and the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Yañez has been curating the beloved SOMArts’ annual Dia de Los Muertos group art show in the Mission District for years. However, he was one of the first curators that presented arts shows centered around Day of the Dead in the U.S. back in the early ’70s. Yañez was also Director of Special Projects and Building Manager at SOMArts.

Rio Yañez, René’s son, posted the news of his death on Facebook and wrote that he had been preparing for this exact moment for the past four years.

Hi Everyone, my Dad passed away this morning about an hour ago. He was surrounded by people who loved him and having…

Posted by Rio Yañez on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

“Rene is my Father, my creative partner, and my best friend,” Rio writes. “I miss him so much already. These last two weeks have been the hardest of my life but I’ve had a partner and extended family that have taken such great care me. I may be grieving but please know I that feel incredibly loved and supported right now.”

René had been working until the very end. In March, he presented his retrospective exhibition titled “Into The Fade.”

René put on his retrospective all the while receiving weekly infusions of chemotherapy or blood, according to Mission Local.

“The artist, who has lived in the Mission District for most of his adult life, said that when he told his doctor earlier this year that he was thinking of doing a show in the fall, ‘the doctor told me, ‘You’d better do it sooner.’ So I’m doing it sooner.’ He laughed at the thought that he might beat his prognosis. ‘I’m playing this out.'”

His last show included one of his most known works titled “The Great Tortilla Conspiracy” which featured the face of Emma Gonzalez.

The concept behind “The Great Tortilla Conspiracy” is that it brings “the gospel of tortilla art” to the masses.

People took to social media to remember René and all that he contributed to the art scene, social justice movements and to their lives.

According to an interview in Mission Local, René was born in Tijuana and migrated with his family to San Diego.

René’s family has requested that SOMArts establish a memorial fund in his honor. All proceeds from this fund will be dedicated entirely to continuing René’s legacy of hospitality, beauty and creativity in SOMArts’ garden. Help us honor René by contributing to the memorial fund. We were truly blessed to work with such an incredible mentor, artist and friend for so many years. SOMArts will host a community memorial for René in the coming weeks.

Rene’s coworker at the Somarts Cultural Center said: “You bless all you know and meet by sharing your talents and humor.”

I had the privilege of working with Rene Yanez for over 16 years at SomArts Cultural Center. I miss sharing an office…

Posted by Mary Molly Mullaney on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Rene was also a military veteran having served in a medical unit during the Vietnam War.

René is remembered as “El Padrino de la Mison.”

Grammy nominated emcee, DJ, actor, Wonway said that Rene inspired him.

“Que viva René Yáñez!”

Alicia Cruz, has worked with Rene for several years for the Day of the Dead exhibition and said that he took a chance on her and her altar vision.

 “He nurtured my evolution as an artist.”

CREDIT: Instagram/@mexichicastyle

“He was a gentle soul, very personable, lots of humor, he was a guide,” Cruz described Rene.

She says he also inspired her activism.

“He was my social media,” Cruz said. “He would tell me when there would be a march and say ‘you should join us.'”

Adding that “He’s the glue, he’s the heart of the SOMarts.”

An altar has been placed in front of the SOMArts Cultural Center in his honor.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Alicia Cruz

René was once asked what advice he would give to young artist, which he responded with: “Do what you like and be passionate about it, because you can’t be mediocre and be successful at it. Try to be as diverse in your skills, from computers, theater, performance, set design — all different aspects — because if you can’t get one thing, something else will come out.”


READ: This New Exhibit Shows The Incredible Evolution Of Lowrider Culture

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This Mexican Surreal Artist Created Freaky Realistic Sculptures Of David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, And Juan Gabriel

Culture

This Mexican Surreal Artist Created Freaky Realistic Sculptures Of David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, And Juan Gabriel

hifructose.com / rubenorozcoloza / Instagram

The death of our favorite artists is always so heartbreaking. We were devastated when Juan Gabriel passed away, and so sad when David Bowie died. It is through their music that they continue to live on in our lives. A Mexican artist feels the same way as us, which is why he is bringing these heroes back to life one sculpture at a time.

Ruben Orozco Loza is a surrealist artist from Jalisco. He sculpts the most insane, yet realistic, art of iconic people.

Instagram/@rulasdue

That’s artist Ruben standing next to his creation of Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco. Here are more creations below from the University of Guadalajara graduate.

His David Bowie is so real it might haunt your dreams for the rest fo your life.

Part of the excitement is watching Ruben create these realistic depictions. It is not an easy or short process. He really takes the time to make the sculptures so realistic that it borders on creepy.

Obviously, he had to give us another moment to fawn over Frida Kahlo.

One of the most stunning moments of Ruben’s work is in the eyes of his subjects. That is what looks the most realistic, but when he inserts them into the face and fudges with them is the part that is so weird. It’s almost like he is doing surgery.

Juan Gabriel was given a second life with the artist’s take on the late singer.

In this video, you can see Ruben is working while looking at a picture of JuanGa. He is constantly looking at the real Juan Gabriel and back at his subject to make sure it looks identical.

Even Pope Francis is a subject that the sculptor couldn’t resist.

We love seeing Ruben brush the hair of the Pope. It’s so cool and realistic. Ruben really gives you a good look at what it takes to create truly stunning works of art.

Guillermo Del Toro would be so pleased with this amazing sculpture.

For his artwork of Del Toro, Ruben also becomes a hairdresser. Did you see how long his hair was in the start of the video? He has to get each piece perfect, even the beard. Stunning!

To see more of his work and videos click here.

READ: These Are Some Of The Best Visual Contemporary Visual Artists Taking Over The Art World Right Now

An Artist From Texas Turned ‘Game Of Thrones’ Characters Into Aztec Art And It’s More Lit Than Our Fuming Mad Queen

Culture

An Artist From Texas Turned ‘Game Of Thrones’ Characters Into Aztec Art And It’s More Lit Than Our Fuming Mad Queen

@emmanuelvaltierraillustrator \ Instagram | Edited by Mitú

Aztec art was at the center of the Aztec empire during the 15th and 16th century. The imagery is an insightful view of what life was like back then, and it still holds so much information that continues to fascinate scholars.

While the art form is centuries old, it’s still very relevant to our culture, our history, and traditions, which is why a Latino artist is giving it a new life.

Artist Emmanuel Valtierra has launched a series of Aztec-style imagery that features some of today’s pop culture icons.

Instagram/@emmanuelvaltierraillustrator

According to his website, Valtierra, was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in Monterrey, México. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Nuevo Leon and Photography at San Antonio College.

Valtierra said he is using current references to introduce people to the historic art form.

Instagram/@emmanuelvaltierraillustrator

“Many people outside Mexico didn’t even know it existed,” Valtierra told Remezcla. “I wanted to introduce art little by little to a new public, and there was no better way than to do it with images they will recognize easily, like video games, movies, and cartoons.”

Some of the pop culture references include Game Of Thrones, Day of the Dead, the Avengers, and Pokemon.

Instagram/@emmanuelvaltierraillustrator

“The love Valtierra has for history has influenced him on all his projects,” his website states. “The goal is to keep teaching new generations about our past in a fun way in every media possible. In the future, Valtierra is planning to release more books, direct more videos, and work on more games for his public and followers.”

If you’re interested in his work, Valtierra also has some items for purchase.

Instagram/@emmanuelvaltierraillustrator

The item above is an illustrated book ($38) in which, as Valtierra states, “recounts the events of the war that the Aztecs had against the Spaniards. Now imagine a world where the Aztecs had defeated the Spaniards. How would our world be different?”

Click here to purchase, or here to learn more about him and his artwork.

READ: Ugly Primo Is One Latino Artist Everyone Who Loves Pop Culture Should Know About

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