ZARCO GUERRERO – IN HIS OWN WORDS

ZARCO GUERRERO – ARIZONA ARTIST

Mask sculptor Zarco Guerrero

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

I think one of the big things that the Chicano Movement did for us was to relate us to the past. Our history that we knew nothing about, Our history we never learned in school. What the Chicano Movement did was bring that past to light and all of the sudden we realized we weren’t descendants of blood-thirsty savages. All of a sudden, we look back to our past and we saw people who are great leaders.

I think the Plan de Aztlán and the whole concept of Aztlán was fundamental to our way of thinking. It gave us a connection to the land, an ancient connection

El Plan de Aztlán

to the land and to the Indian peoples that are buried beneath us. We were no longer strangers. We weren’t “aliens.” This was, in fact, the land of our ancestors.

I went to Mexico to study muralism and sculpture. But in Mexico I saw the ancient Olmec masks in El Museo De Antropología. And at the same time that I was seeing masks in dance and ritual ceremonies throughout indigenous villages in Mexico. And the more I saw of the masks, the more I realized the power of the mask and this important tradition of ours as Mexicanos.

Artistic traditions, cultural traditions, that many artists had overlooked. I felt this was my place as a sculptor, to explore the mask because it was sculpture, painting, it incorporated music, dance, elements of mythology, spirituality, and story telling. It was an art form that was alive and breathing.

Zarco Guerrero Masks

This gave me a mandate as a sculptor. I was meant to use my indigenous heritage, those masks, to express my humanity from a standpoint of a Chicano and to express the universality of mankind. The mask for me, it was universal!

Comments

  1. Lucia says

    What an amazing talent Zarco is! the masks, the theatrical performances, the music, the creativity and such a giving person! Arizona is fortunate to have Zarco — and his whole family! Sometimes we take this for granted since we see his creations regularly, but I remember being at the art museum at the University of Notre Dame while they had an exhibit of Zarco's work and seeing/hearing the reactions of people from around the world. I am glad this website can expose Latino art to so many others! Gracias.

  2. says

    Felicidades Jesus Trevino and Latinopia.com for sharing the historical knowledge, talent and traditions of Latinos/Chicanos/Indigenous Artists and People throughout the country! So, proud to see "one of our own" ALAC Artists, ZARCO, a man of strength, character, and phenomenal excellence of art and sculptor! A Chicano Artist we can all be proud of in AZ!
    GRACIAS!
    Linda Torres, ALAC Board of Directors

  3. Larry Rush says

    ZARCO, Thanks for sharing your work via Latinopia.com. I can't say enough regarding all your accomplishments. I teach art at
    New Horizons Center for Learning in Las Vegas Nevada. When my students return from spring break they will each have an
    individual computer. This is very exciting for us and my first lesson plan for the lower school will be based on Zarco Guerrero
    In his own words.One student completed a mask last week inspired by your work. I carefully lifted it out of the kiln this morning.
    It is fantastic! He plans to mount it on copper.
    Thanks for helping our students,
    Larry Rush. Art teacher

  4. Miriam Mimi says

    I am glad you have a Facebook page that all of us can go to. We can see your latest creations, speeches and Festivals dipicting Latino Art. It inspires me to travel the World and see how all art is relatable in all Cultures. From China, to Russia and Europe we all share this common thread. Your comadre, Miriam "Mimi" Broumas

  5. Larry Rush says

    Zarco,
    Sorry it has taken sixty weeks for me to get back to you. Yesterday, the student who made the mask with the copper background graduated. Without that art project it might have been a different story. He and I both silently remembered your
    inspiration had changed both our lives. Three wonderful stories came from Latinopia lesson plans.You are remembered for
    sharing your art with us. It made a difference.
    Larry Rush,Art Teacher

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