Tony Ortega paints the Chicano experience in Denver
HIGHLAND — “My purpose is to preserve Mexican-Americans’ cultural identity, while walking alongside the dominant culture,” says Tony Ortega, a Northwest Denver artist and associate professor at Regis University.
In La Marcha de Ernesto Che Lincoln, the face of Che Guevara is superimposed over the Lincoln memorial. Ortega pulls images from both cultures to make social statements.
Ortega’s art juxtaposes the two cultures in sometimes humorous ways. “I mix American pop culture with Mexican pop culture, like putting Chicano leaders on Mt. Rushmore and Our Lady of Guadalupe as the Statue of Liberty. My Mickey Mouse is a Day of the Dead character and Captain America is Capitano Americano, who fights for dreamers. The images are pulled from both cultures, overlapped and juxtaposed. They are silly but they are also social statements.”…
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