Reflection On Pachucos Y Sirenas

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Evento Cultural: Pachucos y Sirenas

Before attending the cultural event, I expected to walk into a museum filled with ancient artifacts of things I had nothing in common with or no interest in. But as I set foot into an art exhibit for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised with the paintings around me that I felt familiar with. The paintings consisted of the famous Pachucos and Sirenas of the 1930’s and 1940’s; the exhibit also featured sculptures of common figures such as skull candies used to celebrate the Mexican holiday, El Día de los Muertos. But my favorite piece inside the art exhibit was a life-size low rider piñata made by Artist Justin Favela. With this in mind, what I found unique about this art exhibit, was the panel of the
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Before, I never thought about art as being a predominantly White institution, nor the hardships that Chicanos faced as a result of that. I was in disbelief after learning about the lack of validation that Chicano art experienced and how that type of art form wasn’t expected until recently due to what the artists called, The Chicano Art Movement. I also learned about a piece of my history that I hadn’t been exposed to before walking into the art exhibit. I had never heard of Pachucos or Sirenas, but by attending the exhibit, I learned that they were the founders of the Chicano Movement in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. Both Chicano men and women chose to represent themselves and their culture through a unique way of dressing and talking. As a result of their individuality and pride, the Pachucos faced police brutality, mainly for the way they dressed and crossing cultural norm boundaries. In fact, Artist Josiah Lopez, talked about his grandfather that was a zoot suiter. He recalled stories that his grandfather would tell him about when he’d be stripped of his clothes and beaten by the police. In a way, the Chicano Art Movement is a way to commemorate the Pachucos and Sirenas. The movement introduces a new form of art to the art world. Chicano art has a unique style and commonly represents political activism or Chicano history. It embraces Chicano culture, similar to how the Pachucos and Sirenas embraced it during their time. But the most important knowledge that I received from attending the event was knowledge about myself. Most, if not all the artists talked about identity and their struggles as Chicano’s with finding it. Growing up I would pretend to be Spanish and would reject the label “Mexican”; to me, it was an insult. I remember being in my middle school Spanish class and pretending to not know how to speak Spanish, yet I always managed to get good
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