Phantom Sightings

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HORIZONTE’s Sounds of Cultura segment takes you on a tour of “Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement” the largest exhibition of cutting-edge Chicano art ever presented at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Jose Cardenas: Chicano art is traditionally described as work done by Americans of Mexican descent. It was established as a response to the culturally and politically spiritual Chicano movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. In tonight's "Sounds of Cultura," Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez takes you on a tour of "The Face of Christ in Sonora" exhibition, bringing together a diverse and satisfying display of Chicano art to the valley.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez: "Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement" can now be seen at the Phoenix art museum. An exhibition of modern Chicano art. There are more than 120 works by 32 Chicano artists. "Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement" goes beyond the tradition of form of art. They explore struggles, cultural and history through photographs, objects, and media-based art. The Phoenix art museum calls it the largest Chicano cutting edge exhibition they have ever presented.

Jim Ballinger: I think it demonstrates the unbelievable vitality and creative VERVE of the Chicano community, and as you look around this exhibition, unlike 30 years ago where things Frankly had a similar look and there was almost a constant message coming out, here you see the diversity of video art, drawings, photographs, wonderful paintings, constructed conceptual pieces as well. So it is a contemporary exhibition.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez: "Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement" is a nationwide traveling exhibition organized by the Los Angeles County museum of art. The exhibition is titled after well-known artist description of Chicano art. He once described Chicanos as constituting a phantom culture within American society. A culture he says that's invisible in mainstream dominant art institutions.

Jim Ballinger: Contemporary art does ebb and flow with the modern world, and certainly here in Phoenix we have many issues revolving around the community and some of the issues that we're all facing with the judicial system etc., and those are addressed in this exhibition, and I think what's really great is quite often with a real sense of humor. It's a way of looking at the situation. It makes the points, but it makes it in a way that people can feel comfortable about.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez: Along with the exhibition is another Chicano and Latino arts exhibit called "locals only" which features paintings, prints, and photographs from 12 Chicano-Latino Arizona artists. Among them are paintings and photographs by Annie Lopez. In the exhibition Lopez tells her multitude of life experiences of an artist through pictures called the almost real history of art in Phoenix and SPiC English.

Annie Lopez: The images, the portraits in the almost real history of Phoenix are found images that mean I found them at stores, antique stores, rummage sales, garage sales, that sort of thing. I used to always use family images exclusively, in all my artwork. But these are found images and a lot of times the name in the piece is the name of the person written on the back. So those are names I just grabbed out of the air. But I like them, they seem to fit the story I wanted to tell.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez: Her painting is called "demographic fabric of America and major events reflects life."
Fauste Fernandez: I was raised on the border and on the border we have a lot of issues T. border issues. And it's just like -- it was initially negative, so there were women that -- they're using shovels in their work, and just stuff like that. I figured in my new painting I'm going to basically exemplify and overexpose myself as the cities that I'm from. I have the symbol of Juarez, the two stars from Texas, I have Phoenix, and these are the three places I'm from, and I stamped it with a frame around it, just like a former -- I'm not going to say anything else about the boarder.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez: Locals only artists explore identity and cultural issues, and cross barriers of young and old. The Phoenix art museum has displayed the locals only exhibition throughout the museum. Integrating Chicano art with mainstream art.

Jim Ballinger: A positive mark for Phoenix, it shows the contemporary art continues to rise, and in a more narrow way, with our Mexican-American Latino art, they have risen with that and come into the call. It's a proud moment for the Phoenix art museum and I hope it's a proud moment for the entire community to see this.

Jose Cardenas: The exhibit will be on display until September 20th.

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