VIDA DE LA RAZA It may strike some people as funny that Cheech Marin, the actor who catapulted to fame as a crazy, glassy-eyed dope smoker in Cheech and Chong movies, has been a serious Chicano art collector since the late seventies. But Marin is sincere, for the moment, as he describes how he is going to be living with the Mother Hubbard minimum of art for the next five years. “I have been following the development of the school practically since its inception,” he explains. “At some point I realized that this collection was going to go into museums, so I started accumulating large, museum-size art that wouldn’t necessarily fit on anybody’s walls. I put a lot of them in storage, waiting for the day I’d put together the exhibit—and that day is here.” On December 15 approximately sixty of those paintings make their debut in San Antonio as a component of a two-part exhibit. “Chicano Now: American Expressions,” which will be on display at Alameda’s Museo Americano, is the multimedia portion featuring films, videos, and murals by artists like filmmaker Robert Rodríguez. The fine arts portion, “Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge,” will open at the San Antonio Museum of Art and display images by familiar Lone Star artists: Alex Rubio’s furiously pulsating figures from the barrio, Carmen Lomas Garza’s serene compositions, and César Martínez’s cool, brightly colored portraits of Latinos and Latinas. But for those wary of celebrity endorsement, remember this: Even if the exhibit is not a definitive collection of the genre, it presents works rarely seen in Texas, like those of L.A. hotshot George Yepes. That alone makes this show worth seeing. (See San Antonio: Museums/Galleries.)
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