Mexicans, Mexican Americans,
Sonja Elena Gandert
Ph.D. Candidate, Art History
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Prof. Tatiana Flores
February 11, 2020
What is it?
Do you think it is a useful framework for thinking about
Chicano art? Why or why not?
1. Very generally, rasquachismo is an underdog perspective â€“ a view
from los de abajo. An attitude rooted in resourcefulness and
adaptability yet mindful of stance and style.
2. Rasquachismo presupposes the world view of the have-not, but also
a quality exemplified in objects and places (a rasquache car or
restaurant), and in social comportment (a person can be or act
3. Mexican vernacular traditions form the base of rasquachismo, but it
has evolved as a bicultural sensibility among Mexican Americans. On
both sides of the border, it retains an underclass perspective.
In an environment always on the edge of coming apart )the car, the job,
the toilet) things are held together with spit, grit, and movidas. Movidas
are whatever coping strategies you use to gain time, to make options to
retain hope. Rasquachismo is a compendium of the movidas deployed in
immediate, day-to-day living. Resilience and resourcefulness spring from
making do with whatâ€™s at hand (hacer rendir las cosas).
â€”TomÃ¡s Ybarra-Frausto, â€œRasquachismo: A Chicano Sensibilityâ€
Marion Martinez, La virgencita, 2000. Circuit
boards, computer parts, wire.
Velvet painting depicting â€œThe Legend of PopocatÃ©petl y
IztaccÃhuatlâ€ (1970s), artist unknown
â€Daveâ€™s Dreamâ€ lowrider, 1992
Modified 1969 Ford LTD
Collection of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Clara Cid, Una ofrenda por el Royal Chicano Air Force, 1977
James Earle Fraser, End of the
Trail, modeled 1894, cast 1918.
Luis JimÃ©nez, End of the Trail (with Electric Sunset), 1971.
Fiberglass and electric bulbs. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Luis JimÃ©nez, Vaquero, modeled 1980/cast 1990. Acrylic
urethane, fiberglass, steel armature. Smithsonian American
Alexander Phimister Proctor,
Buckaroo, ca. 1915. Bronze
Denver Civic Center, Denver, CO
Luis JimÃ©nez, Border Crossing, 1989. Polychrome
Rupert GarcÃa, Â¡Cesen DeportaciÃ³n!, 1973.
David Avalos, San Diego Donkey Cart, 1985. Mixed media.
Delilah Montoya, El guadalupano, 1998. Gelatin
CÃ©sar MartÃnez, Hombre que le gustan las
mujeres (Man who likes women), 2000.
Chaz BojÃ³rquez, Placa (Roll Call), 1980. Acrylic on canvas.
Judithe HernÃ¡ndez, La mujer, 1976. 1566 Lancaster Avenue. Los Angeles, CA
Willie HerrÃ³n, The Wall that Cracked Open, 1972. City Terrace Drive, Los Angeles
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