So I decided that during the Christmas and New Year’s break I would do the big sister thing and spend some quality educational fun time with my three younger sisters and their, like omigod BFFL! who lives next door. Naturally, I took them to The Getty! We rode the tram, imagined what it would be like to live in the mountains, saw an amazing display of medieval treasures and wonderful old books with very cool letters, the kind that the old Disney cartoons like Sleeping Beauty use to open up with. We also saw this really great display of photography, “In Focus: The Nude” which resulted in a lot of shocked faces! Haha! It was great!
As I decided to ignore the continued giggles of the crew I was rolling with, I made my way to the photography of Graciela Iturbide, whose 30 years of work was displayed in the largest hall the Getty had to offer. I was really getting into the imagine of the tragic melancholy Magnolia, a transvestite living in Mexico, whose masculine body looked demure in a black and white still, his short bob hair cut drastically cutting his chiseled face, his pearls and long dress roaring at me in the feminine ideals of our society… when I heard “OHMYGOD WENDY!! COME HERE!!” never mind that we were in a museum and I was secretly tailing a very cute guy. I turned around and saw one of my sisters running towards me, “they have pictures of East LA!”
So they take me to the other end of the hall and lo and behold, there amidst the walls of the Getty, also part of Gloria’s exhibit, were countless images of Cholas trapped in 1986. Wearing classic1980 Chola couture, the o.g. docker pants, white tank tops, big feathered bangs, dark raccoon eye shadow, thin eyebrows and throwing up their gangsta signs. On the wall, an inscription, “a society so marginalized without a voice, they created a language of sings, only they hear”.
Wow. Really? How poetic.
Cholas have come a long way since Aqua Net. Someone needs to update this asap!
I can appreciate the display, the pictures, the attempt to showcase a group of people who often times are criticized and viewed in a negative way. I take issue with the display being seen by those that don’t know any better, as current. Yes, it clearly says 1986, however, there are no current pictures of East LA, there are no signs of progress there are no signs of prosperity. Or maybe I’m just thinking that there is nothing special about these pictures because I saw it live and in person while growing up in East LA. Primer Impacto status.
And most of the time, I was scared!
I didn’t want to get shot, stabbed or jacked!!
Maybe it’s a sense of wanting to protect what I know and what is familiar.
Really? What is it? The long dark hair? The arched eyebrows? The don’t mess with me attitude? The “I will cut you” looks? I know, I’m fierce.
The display itself is aight at best. The pictures aren’t that great. It’s a definite must see, but also bit on the lame side. The fact that the Getty would commission this work is wonderful. Speaks volumes on the analysis of what art and our society is really all about. But at the same token, its a bit dry for my taste. The exhibit ends April 13th, 2008. Go see it. Its Free.
You know Cholas are big time when celebrities want to be like them.
Pendejo, gets on my nerves…
We bang our barrio and raza and got fine ass vatos!!!!
Well, I haven’t seen a fine ass vato in a long ass time, so I have to question the last part, but I do agree on the rest! And just a FYI, when State Senator Gloria Romero, an o.g Chola in a suit, became the Senate Majority Leader, she got up on a podium in Manhattan Beach and yelled out “ORALE!!!! Thanks for being here!!!” and also, the Cholas that run the Boys and Girls Club where I vote are hella cool and very informed on the issues. Last election, they were like, “mija, have you voted yet? Where is your sister? Bring her. We need all of our raza to vote. Here, take a sticker.”