In this body of work the images are metaphors for pages in a visual novel portraying a subculture that has endured in the Mexican American community since the second world war. One is born a Mexican American, but one chooses to be a chicano. Politically charged, the chicano life style has been passed from one generation to another. It has survived wars, prisons, and strife.
The images reflect a life style and an attitude dominant in the barrios. This style is identified by the style of dress, mannerism, and language. Many chicanos use a slang called calo to communicate and, when it was allowed, many developed their own sign language to communicate with loved ones incarcerated in the county jail. Standing in the streets below the jail, women would sign to their boyfriends held in cells on the upper floors. This activity no longer takes place since the windows of the jail have been covered.
The work deals with individuals whose lives have been a part of my environment. They are individuals who remind me of friends and acquaintances I grew up with.
The work is not a crusade to change lives nor is it an effort to pass judgement. It is up to the viewer to judge and interpret. These images invites the viewer to come into contact with some of those who populate the chicano world.
As long as there is poverty en el barrio ( in the neighborhood ) this life style will endure my generation and generations to come. An identity is important to all of us. This life style reflects the avenue some individuals take, searching for an identity and self esteem.