Lowriders and oversize flannel button-downs, gold jewelry and the Mexican flag.
Two North Texas multimedia artists are filtering symbols of Chicano culture through their own lenses to reflect on their experiences growing up first-generation Mexican American. Their work also touches on larger themes of religion, adolescence and identity.
“When you’re first-generation, I feel like you’re always stuck and you’re fighting between two cultures,” said Adrian Garcia Mendez, founder of Her.Manos Photography. “You want to put them together but the people from both sides try to pull them back. You’re the rope and you want to bring them together.”
These Latina sisters are continuing their uncle’s legacy with the Dallas Lowriders
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Martha Rincón’s, known as Thrive, three-photo series titled “Eslabón por Eslabón,” or “Chain to Chain,” is being showcased at 400 H Gallery until November. The series consists of three double-exposure photographs of lowriders taken at a car show in 2020. All three photographs are printed on makeshift license plates and layered on top of a pink faux fur background.
“That was a time when I really started capturing lowrider culture, so when I got asked to be a part of this event, I was like, ‘I kind of want to bring that back, like a little ode to the beginning of me,’ ” Rincón said.
And it’s not just Rincón and Garcia Mendez; Chicano culture is having a moment. Over the past few years, there’s been renewed interest by mainstream arts institutions in showcasing the local arts and culture of Mexican Americans.
Back in 2022, the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a lowrider event for its Drifting on a Memory mural. Dallas artist