This Chicana Is Taking Over The Instagram Page Of A Major Art Museum To Show Off Chicano Art

credit: @lacma / Instagram

Guadalupe Rosales is on a mission to share ’90s Chicano culture through social media. Part of telling that story comes in the form of two Instagram pages: @veteranas_and_rucas and @map_pointz, which are filled with photos of Chicanos through the decades. The photos she posts are time capsules that Rosales says “dismantle the stereotypes people have about Chicano culture.” Rosales tells mitú about her journey documenting Chicano culture, her connection to Chicano culture and her exciting new position.

Guadalupe Rosales is Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) first-ever Instagram artist-in-residence.

“It was scary. It was also really great. I felt like maybe I could have these conversations through art or an artistic platform,” Rosales says about her six-week takeover of LACMA’s Instagram page, which started July 5. “I also want to use my skills as an artist and dismantle the way people talk about art.”

Rosales has been bringing Chicano culture to the internet since 2014. She wants to buck the stereotypes people have about Chicano culture .

Following up on this morning's post about the housing projects I am familiar with and spent a lot of time in here in Los Angeles- When looking at these photographs by artist Livia Corona Benjamin, at first it looks like grids or a pixelated image but as you get closer or spend more time looking at the photograph you'll realize these are homes- low income homes. From the wall text: More than two million homes were built during Vicente Fox's presidency. They were built to provide living space for former agricultural workers forced to take low-wage jobs in urban centers. "These are not the neighborhoods of a 'Home Sweet Home' dream fulfilled, the artist says, but are ubiquitous grids of ecological and social intervention on a scale and of consequences that are difficult to grasp." On view now as part of "Home- So Different, So Appealing" —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency #PSTLALA Livia Corona Benjamin, ​​47,547 Homes, 2009, A.P., 30 x 38 in., Courtesy of the Artist and Parque Galeria

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Through the @veteranas_and_rucas page, Rosales works to give a well-rounded snapshot of Chicanos.

“When people think of Chicanos, they only think of L.A. Even the world tends to criminalize us or profile us, or call us ‘cholos/cholas,'” she says. “What I’m trying to do is dismantle this idea that people have. It’s all through mainstream media, which is all the view that most people have. So, for me it was important to show everything and not censor it.”

In fact, documenting Chicano culture on Instagram is what landed her the opportunity at LACMA.

I drove around the East Side today- passed by the Estrada Courts, Whittier Blvd, took a break at El Pino ( a natural landmark that sits on the border of East LA and Boyle Heights) and ended my day looking at the murals in Ramona Gardens. This mural, Virgin de Guadalupe was painted by artist, Armando Cabrera in 1974. People in the neighborhood have created an altar in front of the mural and leave offerings . Virgen de Guadalupe is one of 30 murals on the walls of Ramona Gardens apartment buildings painted by major Chicano artists like Magú, Carlos Almaraz and Judith Hernández. The first mural in Ramona Gardens was painted in 1971.—Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

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Rosales was featured in the Tastemakers & Earthshakers exhibit at Vincent Price Museum, which was all about Los Angeles youth culture from 1943 to 2016. Her piece was a looped slideshow of screenshots and comments of posts on her Instagram pages. When Rita Gonzalez, the curator and acting head of Contemporary Art at LACMA, saw her work she approached Rosales and set up a meeting.

Rosales wants all Chicano culture to get attention with modern media. However the ’90s are a special time to her.

“I really loved spending time with friends, driving around the city. It was about being in physical spaces with other people,” Rosales says. “I feel like that has changed a lot. People are constantly on their phones or the internet. I think back then people were engaging in physical spaces a lot more. That’s what I miss the most, or find really special from that time, including the parties, in backyards or warehouses.”

As for the party scene, Rosales name drops some of her favorite music from her youth.

“The party cruise song was ‘Follow Me’ by Aly Us,” Rosales says. “We were also listening to rap, Zapp & Roger, Snoop Dogg. Then at house parties I would say it was techno or house music.”

Rosales’ Instagram pages started because she was homesick living in New York City and started calling home to reminisce.

This is a photo from my private collection of 4 women from the party crews, 'Together We Stand' (TWS) and 'Mind Crime' on the ‪6th‬ ‪street‬ bridge in 1993. The bridge was demolished on Feb 5th, 2016. The city of Los Angeles faces the erasure of its rich histories. Part of my motivation in creating the @veteranas_and_rucas and @Map_Pointz digital archives was seeing the way my neighborhood was changing.  These projects are about preserving a history. Mario Ayala’s paintings (as seen in the previous post) discuss and preserve this same history in another form. I also want to encourage today's youth to document (in writing, photography etc.) and pay close attention to what they experience in their daily lives. —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

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“I pretty much lost touch with everyone I grew up with, including my family. Then about halfway into living in New York, I actually started missing my home,” says Rosales.

That lead her to start researching Chicano culture, but she had a hard time finding things she could personally relate to.

“I was sort of over this whole stereotypical cliché of the way we are portrayed or described.” She also dealt with people thinking she should leave the past behind.

“I remember people being all like, ‘Oh, that’s nothing, that’s the past,'” Rosales says. “Like it’s not that important, you know? And to me, I felt that I just couldn’t relate to not caring.”

Sunday Shoutout goes out to Elsa and Alex Estrada ! Alex, Thank you for sharing this photo of your mama! Photo info: Elsa from Monterey park / East Los Angeles in 1985 wearing her danza dress. Photo courtesy of : @lxestrada "I began to identify as a Chicana in the 1970's while attending East LA College. Being the daughter of immigrants from Zacatecas Mexico, I found myself drawn to old photos of my Indigenous grandfather who was a Matachines dancer. I learned Danza Azteca along with Ballet Folklorico and traveled the country performing the dances of Mexico for many years to come."— Elsa And THANK YOU to my supporters here on LACMA's IG as I continue my Instagram residency—Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency #Decolonizeyourmind

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But Rosales knew it was a project she had to do. It was on the recommendation of a friend that she started to play with the idea of using social media to tell the story of Chicano culture through the decades. Three years later, her Instagram pages have each become a pretty big deal.

Now with her residency at LACMA, Rosales gets to bring her eye and knowledge of Chicano art to their 610k followers and up the visibility of Chicano/Latino art.

“I want to treat this residency and platform as an exhibition where I get to showcase my work and showcase the work that I’m interested in, outside museums and inside museums,” says Rosales. That means posting artwork, talking about artists she loves and even throwbacks. “What I’m trying to do is mix it all up,” she adds. “I want conversations to be the crossover.”

Rosales wants young Latino or Chicano artists to capture their art and life without feeling a need to sterilize it for others.

The beauty of archiving and preservation of history. On @veteranas_and_rucas and @map_pointz I ask people to submit photos of their youth. And because I value the youth culture and the importance of preserving those memories, starting today I am doing an open call worldwide for throwback photos. Portraits and candid images from 1990s and earlier—anything pre-cell phone and selfies. From Monday morning until Wednesday evening I will post some of the pictures that I receive. Submit to EastLA1980@gmail or send a DM/direct message here on LACMA's IG . Please provide the following info along with your photos: IG name Name(s) Year/date Location such as city, state and country Additional info is cool too—was the photo taken at a party, mall, friends house, school etc. OPEN CALL STARTS NOW? (Photo 1. Courtesy of @esa.brujita : Cleo from Coachella, CA playing some records in her living room in the early 1980s Photo 2. Courtesy of @yolaocchica : Yolanda from Santa Ana, OC sitting on the porch in 1994) —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

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“A young photographer once said to me that for his final project he photographed his family and when he brought the pictures to class the teacher said they were not acceptable because they were too violent,” Rosales recalls. “The teacher is pretty much saying that the way he lives is not acceptable in this world. The photos were not violent. It was maybe a picture of a cousin shirtless that had tattoos. But yet, there are a bunch of photographers that get to do that.”

Rosales wants to encourage young artists to keep doing their work and “do what feels right.”

Karina (on the left) and her friend pose for a photo at a Lowrider car show in Santa Ana CA in 1995. This photo is a perfect example of what a typical Lowrider car show looks like. Car clubs and Lowrider owners created spaces such as the one shown here because often times Lowrider owners were criminalized on the street. The cars are beautifully displayed and sometimes, they are decorated with mirrors on the ground and taken apart so the public can look at all the details- the rims, paint job, engravings etc. The Petersen Museum @petersenmuseum has some beautiful Lowrider cars as part of the exhibition “The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración", go check it out! —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency Photo courtesy of : @zippycakes_714

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Don’t let other people dictate what you do. That’s been the problem in our world: people being told they don’t fit in or their work isn’t good enough,” Rosales says. “No one is in a place to say what art is.”


READ: This Afro-Latina Artist Recreated This Classic Painting For A Very Important Reason

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