Fine Art and Real Estate Broker Anna D. Smith celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring Hispanic artists outside of the gatekeeping established art world.

SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, October 7, 2022 / — Fine Art and Real Estate Broker Anna D. Smith celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring Hispanic artists working outside of the gatekeeping established art world. Here are five underground artists whose works are worth collecting.

When highlighting 5-notable persons in Art or Real Estate, it is necessary to talk about the Market in which these men or women find themselves. The assessment of the Hispanic Art Market by Hispanic or Latinx experts, is that no such Hispanic Art Market exists.

Diana Ledesma notes in her 2016 paper After the Chicano Rights Movement: Mapping the Art Market for Contemporary Mexican American Artists, “There is a severe lack of representation of Mexican American artists in important American institutions, and a resistance to diversity, has made the art market for Mexican Americans practically non-existent.”

Conceptual artist, photographer, and media professor at the California Institute of the Arts, Harry Gamboa, who has spent his career examining the Chican@ market. Gamboa had concluded that there is no “Chicano market” when he stated bluntly, “Type in the word ‘Chicano’ on the web sites of Sotheby’s and Christie’s and you get a big fat zero.” He points to institutional neglect when he summarizes, “look at the collections of the major museums. That will also tell you something.”

Others have noted the invisibility of Hispanic and Latinx artists by improperly diluting their representation in the marketplace by mixing outsiders with this unique family tree of the U.S. minority population.

Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at New York University, Arlene Dávila states, “There is this myth in the art world that race doesn’t matter, identity doesn’t matter. Quality is quality, and we should only be looking at artists based on their work. Of course, that is so pathetically untrue. The art world is very nationalistic, cosmopolitanism, internationalism, and anything that is worldly ranks as valuable in opposition to anything that is regarded as diasporic, racialized, ethnic. I kept wondering why is Latinx bad and Latin American good—what accounts for that? It was very important for me to address that head-on not as something that is rarefied: This is “Latinx” and this is “Latin American,” and the two should never meet.

Art Historian and Director of the Latino Studies program at Tufts University, Adriana Zavala drives home the theme discussed by Dávila, “It is important to study Latin American and Latin@ artists independently from one another. They are not parallel tracks of study, because when we’re talking about US Latinos and Chicanos, we’re talking about people whose history, their political experience, their cultural experience is conditioned in some form by a state of colonization within the US.”

One of the notable artists is Graphic Novelist Amber Padilla. Padilla is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Oakland, California, who works at Schulz Studio, home to the Peanuts Gang of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

In 2021, her first graphic novel as an illustrator was The Secret Garden on 81st Street: A Modern Graphic Retelling of The Secret Garden, a retelling of the classic 1911 graphic children’s novel The Secret Garden by Author Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Illustrators M. L. Kirk, and Charles Robinson.

NFT Artist Jesus Martinez is also one of the notable artists mentioned. Martinez sold flowers with his parents on the streets of Los Angeles from preschool to high-school. In 2015, he began to dabble with cryptocurrency, and discovered Bitcoin and the Blockchain. This convinced him to learn about using artwork as a Non Fungible Token (NFT). After garnering a lot of press for himself, his NFTs are now sought after by institutions, public figures, and celebrities.

Brothers Michael and Abel Blanco are notable Prison Artists. They have been trying to support themselves while confined through Art. One of their most popular art styles is doing custom hand paintings on baseball caps. However, Pelican Bay State Prison is not allowing them to mail out these custom handcrafted baseball hats, despite the demand. “It’s just the rule at the moment,” states Michael. “Which is dumb, since it’s not state property. It’s my art work. But we are trying to petition the warden to allow us to send them out.”

In an interview with the brothers, they wanted the public to know, “Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Hopefully we go home with the passing of Senate Bill 775,” says Micheal. While Abel stated, “Keep your eyes open. I still have a long way to go. I would like to be the best.”

Another notable underground artist is Miami based Graffiti Artist Pedro “AMOS” Rodriguez. This artrepreneur has a full-service art cooperative that includes a tour company that provides the artists’ perspective on street art culture and the people behind it. AMOS has left his mark on half of the world’s continents, in cities such as Taipei, Medellin, Montreal, Amsterdam, and New York City.

Gabriela Alemán aka the Snug Morenita (@snugmorenita) is the fifth notable Underground artist. Alemán is a queer Digital artist who is a first generation child of Central America immigrants. Born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, her work as an interdisciplinary artivist caught the attention of Disney+ executives, who asked her to create an illustration for Pride month.

When it comes to women of color, we are not allowed to be smug. To me it means unapologetic, confident and knowing that I’m good at what I do.

—-Gabriela Alemán aka Smug Morenita

To learn more about these five notable Hispanics in Underground Art be sure to check out Anna D. Smith’s Fine Art and Real Estate Blog, or the audio versions on Soundcloud or YouTube.

5 Notable Hispanics in Underground Art | Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker

Stream episode 5 Notable Hispanics In Underground Art | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

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