Tag Archives: culture

Some thoughts on Sculpture

14 Sep

In my sculpture class I was asked, “what is sculpture?”. this is not my best answer but an answer that is developing….

Being of Mayan decent, I have seen monumental sculptures all my life. I have seen small sculptures created in front of me by vendors and artists selling on the streets in Guatemala. I have been to Tikal, Peten and I have seen  pyramids and12 ft sculptures. When the question was first posed in class, I was confused about how to answer it. But the Siquieros exhibition made me remember my own ancestry.  I can see further now, about what sculpture has been throughout time and throughout the world. Sculptures have told stories of kingdoms, villages, and tribes. They have been used to record and document our understandings of the universe mathematically, physically, and spiritually. Tribes that carved out totem poles created masterpieces representing power and spirit. If I can acknowledge what sculpture has been in the past it is easier to talk about what it is in 2010.

Art, including sculpture, seems to be a lot more focused on creating a conceptual meaning and understanding to it. There is a series of work that is created by an artists with an over arching theme or concept attached to it. It seems driven through academia and theory. And then again, I haven’t been part of that art world. Seeing the work of Siquieros, he did not need to write a huge paper as to the conceptual meaning and theory that drove his work. It was simply explained in one sentence or word that was used as the title of his murals and sculptures, i.e. Man the Master and Not the Slave of Technology or Portrait of the Bourgeoise.

Art is dynamic and exponentially challenging critics as to what is considered art. Is graffiti and wheat pasting art or vandalism? I ran into a book that talks about street art as art that serves humanity, much like public art is talked about. Except one is funded by contractors, transit authorities or government offices, and the other is funded by broke artists pushing society to reconsider their environments and social standings.

Where do sculptures fit? More of it will make sense through out my process in this class. I have experienced installations and sculptures in ways that deeply impact my mind. I saw an installation at the beginning of the summer by a Cal Arts MFA graduate. She recreated a life size model of a toy called “The Victim”:

She layed the sculpture  on the floor and as soon as I approached it I thought it looked like a woman getting raped. I began to study the installation and I found out why this sculpture existed. The artist provided examples of places where this toy was sold and a history of feminist women’s groups asking toy stores to remove this item from their shelves. Even more interesting was a video installation that recorded the responses by cyber writers to a film involving a rape scene. The responses talked about masturbating to the scene, other’s who did not feel it was wrong to recreate scenes like that in the movies, other people who said they had seen “better” rape scenes” Nothing else was provided but my friend and I figured that some of the comments, which were grotesque, were made that way because of the anonymity that exists in cyber space. We began to analyze patriarchal culture in the mainstream and how this toy allows for women to be constantly be portrayed/become victims of violence. This sculpture installation involved a typed history, a video, a comic book, the actual toy, and brought in the world wide web.

Sculpture and installations can be powerful when a strong message is intended to be delivered during its creation process. Sculptures can be wacky. Art is art and it why is it constantly being defined, and who has the right or the “authority” to say what it is, and what it is not. Art critics are annoying, but slowly I am becoming one myself.  I just wish people weren’t so snooty when talking about art. Art should simply be open to interpretation. Siquieros says, “Art is for the people”.

Mi Corazon Quiere Escribir

6 Jul

Love-Gun by Malcolm WatsonMi Corazon quiere escribir
Quiere contar secretos
Quiere que reconoscan su lujo y brillo
Porque ya no aguante el silencio

Mi Corazon se siente rebelde
Quiere correr
Quiere subir montanas
Porque ya no aguanta estar encerrada

Mi Corazon cree en romance
Le gusta las mariposas aventureras
Le gusta las flores dulces
Porque los sentimientos necesitan expresarse

Mi Corazon le gusta lo intellectual
Le gusta el arte de manana
Le gusta la poesia de ayer
Porque ahorra quierre leer tus libros de amor

Galeano on a party bus!

15 Jun

I arrived at 3PM to stand in line to see Eduardo Galeano speak till 7:30PM. The first 7 women that arrived brought books to read, notebooks to write in, & cameras to document with. Everyone i met was a geek at heart and we were all proud to be fans of Galeano. We discussed L.A. apartheid, Gealeano’s femininity vs masculinity in writing, and a world-wide peace march. Mayra, the woman wearing green is an international organizer from Bolivia but lives in New Zealand. She is part of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, and they are organizing a trans-continental march from October 2 thru January 2, 2010.  Please support a world peace march, follow the links. 

Galeano fans esperando y conociendose

While we stood in line, we self-organized a waiting list that went up to 50 something. We originally offered to volunteer to set-up tables, but all we got was a smirk. Turns out that they over-booked the event anyways. There were seats for 235 people but allowed 400 RSVP’s to be made. It did not matter that we stood in line so early, we were never going to get in. The organizers were punks about it too, at one point they wanted to throw the cops on us and denied the validity of our list. Even though as Galeano fans, we were peaceful and beyond it all. 


After all the madness of trying to get in and finding alternative routes to sneaking, my friend and i decided we had done everything we could. So instead, we went to go dance, on the streets! The Downtown Art Walk was happening and this is what we found …

Dancing on the Streets

Dancing on Spring St. / Gallery Row

We walked across the street and found some beautiful art curted by The New Latin Theater Company on Spring St. The artists were refreshing. 

Owl made with metal strings by

Dancing Women carved and painted onto Wood

Then we skipped around to other galleries and spaces and found more music,more artists, more fun, and a party bus. By the end of the night, we wondered if Galeano would have rather hung out with us and enjoyed the art walk instead. 

Reggae Band on Main St. and 5th, L.A.

Artist doing live art, he was featured in this months Citizen L.A.

The Party Bus, with Graffiti art by Sherm


A Good Way to Start the Month

4 May

These last three days included marchers, a photography challenging perceptions of the API community, funky music, compost kings with children reigning, and Cambodian hip-hop performers.

May began with International Workers Day. MIWON organized one of the 7 marches that were spread through out Los Angeles to call for immigration reform and workers rights. Placita Olvera was the final destination for marchers who began mid-day in Echo Park.

Demonstrators unveil a "human billboard" at La Placita Olvera area in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, May 1, 2009 during a march and rally for immigration law reform. Organizers are urging passage of an immigration law that provides a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Sign reads "Workers First." (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Demonstrators unveil a "human billboard" at La Placita Olvera area in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, May 1, 2009 . Sign reads "Workers First." (AP Photo/Damian Dovargane)

While at Placita, I found myself by accident at the Chinese-American Museum. Asian Roots/American Reality is an exhibition of 92 photographs by Corky Lee, a photojournalist capturing the passion and activism of the API community. The photographs tell many brilliant stories of families, workers, immigrants, and movements spread over a 35 year period. Take a free tour and learn some inspiring history that will add to your consciousness


Police Brutality Victim, 1975. New York City, New York. (Corky Lee)

Saturday night I ended up dancing at FUNKYSOLE at the Echo. A brilliant production that hosted atleast 6 djs, including Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch, and a female guest DJ from Bakersfield, spinning classic funk music from the 60’s and 70’s to a crowd that had every body jumping, grooving, and even break dancing.

Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch

Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch

Sunday I made it out to the Wild Oats Organic Garden in long beach for a Children’s Day Celebration. It was a perfect day to open the vegetable and flower gardens for children to play musical chairs to the drum beats of SKIM, blow bubbles, and enjoy song and poetry.There were also workshops for parents and delicious vegan food provided Food Not Bombs Guerilla Chapter. This event was organized in part by Sumiko Braun, a mother whose intention was to provide a safe and creative space to celebrate children and their free spirits.

Food Not Bomb chefs serving what they do best, vegan justice on a plate :)

Food Not Bomb chefs serving what they do best, vegan justice on a plate 🙂

Joe, the "Compost King", amidst mountains of rotting veggies, helping to keep landfills with less waste, and gardens with nutricious soil. Special thanks to MaryBeth and Jeidi for sharing the garden.

Joe, the "Compost King", amidst mountains of rotting veggies. Special thanks to MaryBeth and Jeidi for sharing the garden.

Girl graciously blowing bubbles...

Girl graciously blowing bubbles...

My highlight was seeing Tiny Toones, on tour through 4 major U.S. cities performing Hip Hop all the way from Cambodia. An empowering and inspirational performance of emcees, break dancers, dj’s, and graffiti artists came together for a fundraiser to continue providing free health and educational services for children in Cambodia.

Brilliant photograph by Jen May (www.jenmayphotography.com)

Brilliant photograph of B-Boy Homie by Jen May (www.jenmayphotography.com)

The founder, Tuy Sobil, was raised in Long Beach spending his daysas a b-boy. Sobil was deported to Cambodia after being caught up with people and in places he should not have been. Children in  Cambodia found out he had mad skills in break dancing and naturally sought him so he could teach them. He soon began to teach break dancing to children who were in need of a positve role model.  In this story, Hip Hop saves lives, again.


B-boys and B-girl Diamond (front), she is an inspiration to all Khmer girls to become break-dancers too. (photo from tinytoonescambodia.com)

Emcee lyrically performs about ancestors, victims of the genocide, youth culture and ... his motorcycle

Emcee lyrically performs about ancestors, victims of the genocide, youth culture and ... his motorcycle

Mother connects to his son, Tuy Sobil, whom she has not seen since his deportation. She expressed her pride in tears for the work he has inspired in the children of Cambodia.

Mother connects to his son, Tuy Sobil, whom she has not seen since his deportation. She expressed her pride in tears for the work he has inspired in the children of Cambodia.