Jevonte Stewart- Chicana Art

“Caveira Chicana” by kassá is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


“‘A Todo Color = In Full Color: Chicano Art Show’ @1315 Studios” by j-No is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


“052409165650” by STRIKE TNB OS ATK is licensed under CC BY 2.0



My name is Jevonte Stewart and my portfolio is focused on Chicana Art and how the art relates to the struggles faced by Chicana throughout that time. I will be utilizing the license Attribution CC BY. [CC BY 4.0]


The goal of this portfolio is to show how these Chicana Art styles mesh with the message that they planned to convey. This will mostly be done by exploring the history of the Chicanas as well as exploring the themes hidden within the art itself. Chicana Art, in general, was made in retaliation to the Americans that threatened their identity and attempted to drive them out of their environment. On the contrary, the Chicanas succeeded in creating their own identity, their own environment and that is what will be shown as we continue on.


The two themes of endurance and change are heavily involved in the art presented.  The use of skulls and skeletal features in these art forms convey death, mortality, and the effects of the discrimination and injustice the Chicana had to face during those times. Being driven away from their culture and their environment took a toll on them. The Chicana taking the brunt of the attack from Americans were lethal mentally and, as shown in the art, physically. However, these aspects also show the strength of these people to continue moving forward despite the obstacles coming their way.


As stated previously, these 3 images were chosen to represent the hardships that the Chicana went through. I believe the skeletons not only show the effects of injustice but how the Americans viewed the Chicanas. The second image especially shows the endurance of the Chicana people. The second image is a painting of a skeleton smoking a cigarette. The difference between this one and the other pieces of art (and especially the first one) is that this skeleton takes on a much more humanizing persona of an influential individual named Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived in an earlier time period than the Chicana movement (1960s) however both Frida Kahlo faced a similar discrimination when it came to her people as well as just women in general and how they were treated. Frida Kahlo created art that symbolized these things and it sent a message of resistance to those who tried to limit her. It is very well possible that the artist of this painting was inspired by this and merged Chicana Art with Frida Kahlo to emphasize that their struggle was one and the same. Frida Kahlo smoking a cigarette embodies the idea of longevity and persistence of the Chicana people as it shows that the effects of injustice may be damaging but it is not enough to keep them down. If anything, it makes them hunger for more justice similar to an addiction (cigarette). When it comes to all three arts, including the first and last ones, that both show a skeleton donning accessories similar to ones that Mexican American women (Chicanas) would wear, they communicate a group of people who instead of rejecting their nature because of the discrimination they faced, deciding to own their identities as Chicanas, ultimately, owning their environment in the process. Characteristic of these skeletons/skulls wearing normal accessories as if they were regular humans and not an arrangement of bones.


I believe that Chicana Art is very important in understanding the devastating effects injustice can have on how a group of people feel about the people around them and why these people retaliate the way that they do. Chicanas felt alienated in their new environment because Americans didn’t accept them for who they were and suffered greatly because of it. These pieces of Chicana Art reveal the raw and harsh reality of it all. Racism, discrimination, injustice, alienism, all of those things can destroy a person from the inside. However, that is precisely why true justice is worth fighting for. That is why it is worth loving and accepting who you are.


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Health and Environmental Humanities Artistic Expression Portfolio Copyright © by The Students of HUM2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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