almost black friday at lacma AGAIN

Theory dress, Teva boots, Moda leggings, homemade necklace (gift)

I can't believe I did a post from LACMA on black friday a year ago.  Here I am again, a day past one year later.  Not just going to LACMA almost the day after Thanksgiving again, but coupling it with the best Cuban food at El Colmao - again.  Yum.  Saw Asco show at LACMA.  Whew.  Missed Tim Burton, but couldn't miss Asco.  After seeing amazing urgency and realness of their statements that was beyond any contrived art idea coming from NY at the time and the out of this world costumes that went with their performances, anything that thinks it is cutting edge right now seems super conservative.

Look at these photographs behind me in the museum!  Just look at them.  Okay, I know they are too small, but it's what, nineteen seventy early something and they're dressed all prohibition gangster like in MALIBU.  It's just crazy.  I'm just acting like I'm hanging out with them in this photo.  
"Decoy Gang War Victim", 1976, by Harry Gamboa Jr. is my favorite photo/document of a performance in the show.  I'm not sure what motivated them then (because I was a little kindergartner at the time), but it was only the 70's and for me, they were messing with a bunch of Chicano stereotypes/traditions like gang wars, Day of the Dead parades, and murals in this playful, irreverent, hypnotic way.  How dare they be conceptual?  But they were.  And as an artist today with a Hispanic last name that tends toward illustrating my stories through songs, paintings, installations, and outfits, I am only understanding now how I have reaped the benefits.  That happens a lot in art history... and in "other" histories, for that matter.  Thank you, Asco.

About the fashion:
from The Art Outlaws of East L.A., L.A. Weekly, 2007 by Daniel Hernandez
Valdez recalls during an interview in her Echo Park home that her fixation on outrageous clothing was rooted in a longing going back to her girlhood. “I had this taste, I wanted things,” Valdez says. “I always liked nice things and I never had them. My mother went, ‘When you get older.’ And I go, ‘I’m sick of it, I gotta make something of myself, I gotta be somebody.’ The environment around me was not the world I lived in, I lived in my head, in a fantasy, so I created my own look, through movies and fashion.”
In old Asco photographs, Valdez personifies a nostalgic ideal of L.A.pachuca glamour. There she is, in short skirts and high heels, gloves, extreme eye makeup, fishnets, leather, bold colors, lots of black, eye-catching jewelry — the sort of vintage Eastside look some women still reference and replicate today. The men were often just as stylish and outrageous.
“In East L.A. in the ’60s, you didn’t wear jeans to school, you wore slacks. So it was again pushing that notion of limitations,” Gronk said. “I used to think, if you could walk, wear it. That was the motto that I had.”
"Asco" by Humberto Sandoval, sepia photograph, 1975


  1. I love that motto. What will they say of you thirty five years from now? I know what I will say. I will say I knew her. Wish you were me.

  2. Just as ASCO influenced you, your color and free spirit and flair and delight in making things beautiful affects everything around you. I agree with Maureen!