Artist, workforce equity activist. Latino bilingüe. Founder, Resilient Coders.
Training people of color for high growth careers as software engineers, and connecting them with jobs. We believe in social justice through economic empowerment.
A boy who loves drawing superheroes doesn't come out of Mexico City unchanged. Looming over the city of my family are the murals of Sigueiros, Orozco, and Rivera -- to my eyes, basically elaborate illustrations of the heroes from the stories my parents would tell me: Juan Escutia, wrapping himself in the flag and leaping to his death over the side of the castle of Chapultepec, rather than surrendering it to the invading Americans. Zapata and Villa, always together, rifles ready. Cuauhtémoc, with his feet held over fire. Porfirio Díaz and his cientificos. And the greatest hero of every mural, el pueblo.
I grew up with an understanding that art and history are two aspects of the same discipline; that artists are keepers of our collective memory, who have a gift for telling old stories with contemporary language. In the work that most resonates with me, history is a lens through which we reflect on the present. Work that is truly future-facing is historically conscious.
Just as important as the subject matter is the medium. It matters how art is consumed, and who consumes it. It's maybe the most important thing about art. Who do you, as an artist, work for?
One of the great Americans we don't learn about in school is Red Cloud. I won't try to tell his story here; but I will say that his victory over the US Army during the Indian Wars was due to an immense amount of patience, and to brilliant military strategy. He simply fought harder, smarter, and longer than did his opponent. May we learn from him, today.
The Red Cloud Series is an ongoing project to present historical heroes in a visual vocabulary inspired largely by comic book culture.
Please don't email me that these incredible people deserve a better portrait artist than me. I'll just agree with you, which will be awkward for both of us.
A note about the following pieces: El Martirio de Rodolfo Walsh. This was an Argentine journalist in the 1970's who spoke out against the military junta. When they came for him, he pulled out his own gun and went out shooting. In town they speak with Righteous Fire. It's heart breaking to me when (conservative) American voters fall for populist rhetoric bankrolled by huge business. Ricardo Flores Magon. He and his brothers were journalists who inspired the Mexican Revolution. Ricardo Flores Magon was ultimately exiled to the United States, where he was assassinated.