Saturday, November 27, 2010

Public art post

                                              "Chasing New Dreams"

         Although nowhere near my neighborhood, this artwork titled "Chasing new dreams" is located at a supermarket (Foodbazaar) parking lot in Corona where I always shop for my groceries. There is political signficance portrayed that include images of Che guevarra and Martin luther King Jr as well as an image of a laborer holding up a hammer perhaps representing the working class. To me, this piece reflects perhaps the community ethnically and class. With the community being of a majority African American and Latino, the Figures represented in the piece also strongly represented struggles of the same background. Martin Luther King Jr. struggled for the exercise of constitutional rights for African Americans and all colored as did Che Guevarra for a better society for Latino Americans of all races and other ethnicities with socialism around the world. A strong point in relation to ideals of the piece also portray a working class represented by the picture of the person with a hammer; a significant emblem historically representing socialism.
         The portraits have a significant political message in the images from where thier locations are placed and seem to reflect thier regional origins on the world map. MLK is right on top of the "south" where the Civil Rights movement was concentrated. Che's portrait is right next to Latin America and Africa where he campaigned for Socialism in Cuba, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Congo, Angola in Africa and more. Socialism, originating from Germany with karl Marx shows a portrait with the sickle and hammer of the Russian and the Communist revolutions with thier origins near Europe.
          Other images on Chasing New Dreams include a compass that relates to the map in the artwork with two big images of inelegible complicated looking artistic scripts in orange and blue. These scripts are the artists' tag names called "pieces", of which I have no clue to whose names they are, I just know they are names. These pieces are the sort of artisitic form of thier names which very common with graffiti artists; They basically like to write names all over the place, many times looking like irritable scribble or like in this case, a fancy artform developed from the inner city youth culture. I personally believe graffiti it developed in social enviroments like high schools classrooms where kids would scribble thier names everywhere on school desks with pencils and markers for notoriety which then spread to the streets as they eventually got fancier and needed a bigger canvas and audience, but most importantly used spray paint; the main ingredient as is the case in Chasing New Dreams.
          This artwork ties the ethnicities of the figures with the working class as the community itself here in Corona which is comprimsed mostly of working class families. There are many Latino and African American's of working class seen in the busy urban congested atmosphere thourghout this neighborhood. The title "Chasing New Dreams" also seems to represent a motivation of a working class struggle in the community to survive and suceed in achieving the "American Dream". I can personally relate to the theme of the artwork as my family also had to struggle in the working class of "America" to suceed; my parents came from Ecuador in 69', moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn worked thier butts off for many years until they achieved thier goals; my father eventually aquired his Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from City college and my mother's Psycology from York. I too soon hope to reach my goals as well, although I'm sure I probably dont work my ass off as much as they did. 
         Whats brings me to Foodbazaar was my liking of Ecuadorian food I grew up with not available in my neighborhood (Middle Village). My mother used to cook all this stuff that people probably would'nt touch like Cowfeet soup, and Mondongo (tripe), but I guess you can call it an aquired taste. I have been shopping here for many years because of the convienience of the parking lot and many Latino American products available, besides the pretty good prices and mostly because of the fact that this place is open 24 hours a day. I first noticed the piece and thought of it as just some grafitti, but then I noticed a Che looking image, took a closer look and then realised it had more significance than just Grafitti. I still can't read the tag names of the artists so i dont know who made it, but it looks nice and I appreciate it more because if its political significance with its ethnic associations and class struggle in the community.


  1. Hi Jorge - Great image and a great post. I'm wondering also about the way it's laid out - the relationship of the images to the tags and also what looks like the map it's overlaid on. See if you can revise/expand the post to talk about how the overall image is put together. How are the figures arranged in relation to the map? Are they printed photographs, painted, or something else?

  2. Great! Feel free to either revise and repost as this post - I will reread the new version.

  3. okay prof i added some input about the form of art used in this work