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  • John ValadezAuthor(s): Luis CamnitzerSource: Art Journal, Vol. 51, No. 4, Latin American Art (Winter, 1992), p. 14Published by: College Art AssociationStable URL: .Accessed: 15/06/2014 12:36

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  • John Valadez CHICANO

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    John Valadez, Condemned, 1989, pastel on paper, 64 x 47 inches. Courtesy Saxon-Lee Gallery, Los Angeles.

    Condemned is a piece that resulted from books and research I collected about the travel journals of Captain Cook in the Pacific Ocean, the Dutch in South Africa, and Cortes in Mexico. I was particularly struck by the "clash of cultures": the first impressions the groups had of each other as they tried to figure out who these strange people were. There were

    misreadings on both sides. Cook went to many locations and saw people of very different features. Indigenous peoples saw

    ships as floating "trees"; they saw the sailors (some with

    scurvy) as scrawny men with three-cornered heads (their hats). The Aztecs believed the Spaniards were attached to their horses. The Dutch, at their first sight of pastoral South Africans who proudly covered their bodies with animal vis- cera, were incensed when the Africans' herds trampled their farms as they followed their annual migration routes. The

    Africans were equally uncomprehending about the intruders. In Condemned, based on visual imagery from my books, I tried to show these two views by creating an apparition that

    represented how Europeans might have been perceived by the indigenous people. The Europeans, for example, con- verted the benign serpent gods of native peoples into a

    symbol of evil. Thus the main figure has serpent parts, a

    three-part head, and various unexplained body swellings. He holds a chain of beads and trinkets, and menaces the four

    crouching indigenous peoples with his sword.

    JOHN VALADEZ, a Los Angeles painter, was included in "Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation" and "Le Dimon des

    anges," and in 1987 was artist-in-residence, Fondation dArt de la Napoule, France.

    WINTER 1992


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    Article Contentsp. 14

    Issue Table of ContentsArt Journal, Vol. 51, No. 4, Latin American Art (Winter, 1992), pp. 1-111Front Matter [pp. 1-108]Artists' PagesRecent Latin American Art[Introduction] [p. 6]Herman Braun-Vega [p. 7]Guillermo Gmez-Pea [p. 8]Marina Gutirrez [p. 9]Patricia Israel [p. 10]Ricardo Rodrguez Brey [p. 11]Nelbia Romero [p. 12]Jonas dos Santos [p. 13]John Valadez [p. 14]Carlos Zerpa [p. 15]

    Editors' StatementThe Columbus Quincentenary and Latin American Art: A Critical Evaluation [pp. 16-20]

    Translating 1492: Mexico's and Spain's First National Celebrations of the "Discovery" of the Americas [pp. 21-29]Africa in the Art of Latin America [pp. 30-38]The Virgin of Guadalupe: Symbol of Conquest or Liberation? [pp. 39-47]"Civilizing" Rio de Janeiro: Four Centuries of Conquest through Architecture [pp. 48-56]Postmodern Disalignments and Realignments of the Center/Periphery [pp. 57-59]Beyond "The Fantastic": Framing Identity in U. S. Exhibitions of Latin American Art [pp. 60-68]Recapturing History: The (Un)Official Story in Contemporary Latin American Art [pp. 69-80]Exhibition ReviewsReview: Gertrude Ksebier and Helen Levitt [pp. 83-85+87+89]Review: Chiefly Feasts [pp. 91-93]

    Book ReviewsReview: 19th-Century American Painting [pp. 95+97]Review: Feminism and Impressionism [pp. 99+101+103]Review: The Museum [pp. 103-106]Review: Cubist Poetry [pp. 106-107]

    Books and Catalogues Received [pp. 109-111]Back Matter