Latino artist Gilbert “Magu” Lujan died this week at the age of 70 after battling cancer for several years. His loss is being felt all over the Latino arts community as the painter was an important part of the LA art scene and beyond. Here are a few snippets from obits.
The Los Angeles Times:
A pioneer of the Chicano art movement that took root in the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s, Magú, as he was universally known, was among the first U.S. artists of Mexican descent to establish an international career.
He also was an enthusiastic facilitator of gatherings and exhibitions of Chicano artists and art collectives, most prominently the Chicano collective known as Los Four, and a catalytic figure in bringing their work to the wider art-viewing public, as well as art scholars and critics.
Lujan was born in the San Joaquin Valley. He lived in Guadalajara with his mother’s family for a while, and grew up in East L.A. During the late 1960s activism of the United Farm Workers and civil rights protests in L.A. he proudly claimed the identity of a politicized Mexican-American, a Chicano.
In 1974 he took that barrio aesthetic to the hallowed and very un-Chicano-friendly galleries of the L.A. County Museum of Art. Lujan, recently out of UC Irvine with an art degree, and three fellow artists were the first Chicanos to exhibit at LACMA.
Our partner site, Latinopia:
Throughout his artistic career Magu has explored the icons, symbols and imagery of the Chicano barrio. He explains why “lowriders” are such an important component to his work.
You can also see a video of Lujan on Latinopia here.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD
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