Although I worked primarily as a “naturalist” painter over the last 20 years, four years ago I began developing a completely new series of mixed-media sculptures and collages focusing on biting and comic social and political satire.
This exciting change came after extended visits to study new art forms in China, New York City and Pittsburg’s Carnegie Mellon, where I viewed radical international mixed media created using pre-produced/ manufactured objects. I began asking myself, “What would these images look like from a Latino/Mexican-American/Chicano point of view?” I found myself collecting newspaper articles, found objects and pre-produced/ manufactured items without knowing exactly what I would do with them.
The impulse arrived and I completed my first series of post-production sculpture and collage. Now this impulse has gone haywire and I am developing a new series of work entitled Make ‘Em All Mexican, where a universe of icons have suddenly become Latino. I believe that I have found a way to describe the Latino/Mexican-American/Chicano conundrum, condition and attitude that we face in “living the American dream.” Viewers are cajoled into envisioning their imaginary and wished-for political and social status and then forced to face the reality of their predicament. Yes, these new works are wickedly funny, causing the viewer to laugh and then apologize for “thinking it’s a joke.”
This work is like my Frankenstein! It will not stop evolving. Every Day I see another American icon or image and want to Make ‘Em All Mexican, I can only assume that this work will lead me even deeper into images that reveal cultural awareness, cultural wishes and the cultural separateness that so many Americans feel today.
“Linda Vallejo has been collecting Tchotchkes. Not just any tchotchkes since . . . this carefully selected assemblage services her biting artistic vision. The focus of . . . Make ‘Em All Mexican is anything but subtle. Conceptually-informed, poignant and ironic, she melds populist cultural conventions and racial politics into an edgy brew, adroitly tapping into that nebulous space between anger and laughter.”
— Bill Moreno from “Tchotchkes as Provocateurs”
1978 MFA California State University, Long Beach
1975-76 Studies University of Madrid, Spain
1974 BFA Whittier College, CA
1971 Studies Independent Theater Arts, London, England
1969 Diploma Madrid High School, Spain
Linda Vallejo consolidates multiple, international influences gained from a life of study and travel throughout Europe, the United States and Mexico to create paintings, sculptures and installations that investigate contemporary cultural, political and spiritual issues.
Vallejo has recently been included in The California/International Arts Foundation’s L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980 and the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 in two exhibitions: Mapping Another LA: The Chicano Art Movement at the UCLA Fowler Museum and Doin’ It in Public: Art and Feminism at the Woman’s Building at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design.
She coordinated a panel titled “From a Whisper to a Roar: An Intimate Dialogue with California Multicultural Artists” for the Women’s Caucus for Art’s (WCA) national conference in 2012. Her work was included in an exhibition of the same name curated by Avinger Nelson at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, CA, as well as the WCA 40th Anniversary Momentum exhibition at Gallery 825 curated by Rita Gonzalez, Associate Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Vallejo’s Prayer for the Earth Eco Installation solo exhibition was presented at the Southwest Museum, TX and McNider Museum, IA in January and April 2012 respectively. A solo exhibition of her newest mixed-media work, Make ‘Em All Mexican, was presented by Arte Americas in collaboration with the Fresno Art Museum and Central California Museum of Art Advisory Committee in June.
She has exhibited her work in various museums including the Armand Hammer Museum, Bronx Museum, Carnegie Art Museum, Laguna Art Museum, Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, Mexico City Modern Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Mexican Art and San Antonio Museum, as well as at such Southern California galleries as Avenue 50 Studio, ChimMaya Gallery, Galeria Las Americas, Plaza de la Raza and Patricia Correia Gallery. Her work has been reviewed in ArtNews, Art Business News, Art Limited Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. She was also the owner of Galeria Las Americas from 1990-97 in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA.