Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin

September 8-December 1, 2018

Cheech Marin is best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent duo of Cheech and Chong. While primarily known as an actor, director, and performer, he has developed what is arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art in the world. Since he started collecting in the late 1980s, to date, he has accumulated over 700 works of art; the majority of which are paintings followed by prints, mixed-media works, sculptures, and photography.

Marin declares, “Chicano art is American art. My goal is to bring the term ‘Chicano’ to the forefront of the art world.” This objective led to his producing and touring of exhibitions featuring works from his collection, starting in 2001 with Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, which broke attendance records during its groundbreaking 15-city, six-year tour across the United States.

This exhibition, Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin, presents 65 artworks by 24 established and emerging artists. Their work demonstrates a myriad of techniques from watercolor and aquatint to pastel and mixed media, dates from the late 1980s to present day, and offers iconic imagery with influences ranging from pre-Hispanic symbols and post-revolutionary nationalistic Mexican motifs to Chicano movement of the 1960s and contemporary urban culture.

I am very proud to present the next edition of Papel Chicano. These works of art are among my favorites in my art collection. They represent a wide range of expression and techniques and their commonality is that they were executed on paper — all kinds of paper.

One of the attributes that I most appreciate about paper is its ability to absorb. To merge with any other medium; whether it is watercolor, pastel, ink, paint or just about anything else. There is a bond formed that is both unique and unpredictable.

Watercolor will determine its own flow and spread in ways that you could not predict, but are amazed. Paper will impose its pattern and textures on pastels that the artist can either incorporate or try to cover over. Handmade paper has an outcome that is all its own and the end result is anybody’s guess.  Paper can be printed upon with a million different effects even in the digital age. Those who are most surprised are often the artists themselves.

Since I began collecting my mantra has been: “You can’t love or hate Chicano art … unless you see it.” Hopefully, you will absorb these wonderful artworks and be changed in the process.

Con amor y besos,

Cheech Marin

pablo cristi
Pablo Andres Cristi, If La Virgen Returned, 2009, Spray paint and acrylic on paper, 51″ h x 72″ w