My Proposal for the Lego Movie sequel

In the last three months a confluence of events have led to a rediscovered love of Legos for me. Starting with receiving a Lego Batman set on my birthday from Chicano superstars Cary Cordova and John Mckiernan-Gonzlez, finding my childhood Lego collection in the midst of my parent’s eviction, and ending with watching the Lego Movie; I’m all in. Since then I’ve organized and cleaned the dusty Legos I loved so much as a kid and made many pilgrimages to the Lego store to buy new ones. On Monday I sat down to play and inspiration struck. I cobbled together a UFW flag from my bricks. Wanting to flesh it out more I created a small agricultural field and put in Emmet and Wyldstyle from the Lego Movie right in the middle of it. I think I’m happier with everyone extrapolating their own stories from the images so that’s as much as I’ll say about my intentions.

When I posted the images above on facebook, someone asked me if I was the first person to make a UFW flag out of Legos. To be honest I don’t know. I’ve never seen any UFW (or Chicano) themed Lego constructions but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If anyone know of any previous UFW Lego art let me know.



Japanese Chicano Fashion – Fresh for 2014!

I am endlessly fascinated by the Chicano/Cholo subculture of Japan. It’s inspired artwork and writing of mine for almost two decades. In the last couple of years I’ve done periodic check-ins on the latest Chicano fashions in Japan (mostly from clothing brand Slangy) and I’m here with another mind-blowing report back. See my previous findings on Slangy and Japanese-Chicano fashions HERE and HERE. Enjoy!

cf-13n-002model05CALIFAS CREW NECK SWEAT

01701803152211SLANGY 7分FIGHT96 ラグランTシャツ

01701804153030SLANGY シャンブレーシャツ

01701804139230スランジー/シャツ SLANGY フランネルチェックマリアシャツ

01701804139310スランジー/シャツ SLANGY ブロックチェックスカルシャツ




And last but not least, these iPhone cases:

01701858149610SLANGY GANG Style アイフォンケース

01701858146310スランジー/アイフォンケース SLANGY スカルマリアI phone5ケース



Our Lady of Japanese Fashion

I’ve made no secret of my love and fascination with Chicano culture in Japan. I am obsessed with how urban Chicano visual aesthetics and slang have been interpreted through a uniquely Japanese lens. I’ve written before about Japanese takes on Cholo fashion and I’m back with a themed look at how the Virgin of Guadalupe has been used in said fashion.


Finding these clothes took no special Japanese language skills or inside cultural information, I simply looked up Japanese online stores (primarily Rakuten) and performed searches on them for the word Guadalupe. Below are some of my favorite findings. Clicking on the images will take you to their sale listing if you actually want to purchase what you see. Happy shopping!

SUBCIETY/ サブサエティ / assistant Sae tea /Guadalupe ZIP PARKA/ parka /SBP6111
Strike rollers [What’s New] [STROLLERZ] T-shirt 23#GUADALUPE/BLACK, WHITE [ST-086-BLACK]
【2012A/Wコレクション】GUADALUPE  Tシャツ 長袖(B42024)【BLACKFLAME(ブラックフレイム)】
【楽天ランキング入賞】【2012A/Wコレクション】BF GUADALUPE スタジャン(B49015)【BLACKFLAME(ブラックフレイム)】【送料無料】【代引き手数料無料】
CRIMIE(クライミー)GUADALUPECRIMIE(クライミー)GUADALUPE(2カラー)【メンズ 半袖 TEE Tシャツ 復刻 グアダルーペ 】【送料無料】【メンズカジュアル 男性 ストリート 着こなし 】【あす楽_土曜営業】【あす楽_日曜営業】
【2012A/Wコレクション】FAITH GUADALUPE パーカー 長袖(B42008)【BLACKFLAME(ブラックフレイム)】
Subciety Guadalupe.A R-7/S BKWH
【BLACK FLAME】BF GUADALUPE 刺繍&プリント入りワークシャツ (B31034)

Finally, in the Chicano spirit, I’ll leave you with this bonus: A Chicano Spirits shirt. Enjoy!

PRO CLUB ヘビーウェイト プリントロンT -Chicano Spirits- 【全2色】



Olmos Famous Episode 2

Katynka Martinez and I are back with the latest episode of our podcast Olmos Famous. In this episode we take a look at season 22, episode 16 of The Simpsons featuring Cheech and Chong. What happens when Cheech Marin tries to educate Homer on Chicano art? Does Springfield’s Latino population live in East-Springfield? What inspired the psychedelic sequence in the episode? Listen and find out!

Olmos Famous Episode 2

Extra bonus: Here’s the Olmos Famous *exclusive* side-by-side comparison of the Simpsons’ version of Xavier Viramontes’ Boycott Grapes print and the original.

Stay tuned for more Latino media commentary and witty banter!


Bad Chicano Poetry

Note: In no way is this writing meant to imply that ALL Chicano poetry is bad. By bad Chicano poetry I’m talking about Chicano poetry with exhausted cliches spoken in the most hoariest and obvious patterns masquerading as urban and contemporary speech.

Did you know that there are literally no search results if you search for “bad Chicano poetry” via Google? Yet countless Chicanos I know clown on our bad poetry. So why is it that we can talk a lot of shit in person but chicken out when it comes to committing our critiques to written form on the internet? Are we afraid of airing our dirty laundry to the outside world? Offending our elders? It is one of the greatest mysteries of our complex identities.

In my lifetime I’ve know some amazing Chicano poets. Yet suffering through utterly terrible and cliche poetry is one of the most common experiences for culturally engaged Chicanos. ‘Nuff said!

I’m going to leave you with this clip from a Chris Rock comedy album in which Rock is  being interrogated and subjected to various torture techniques. Although it doesn’t specifically address bad Chicano poetry I’ll forever curse the day I heard the sketch because it meant that I couldn’t use the same idea to critique it. Warning: Contains salty language. Enjoy!

Black Poet



Novelas, Love and Other Adventures

In less than 24 hours my 31ist birthday will be upon me. In my mailbox today there was the postcard for my next exhibit and seeing it brought a tear to my eye. I can’t think of a better way to close out my 30th year and start my 31st than by seeing my name listed between Jaime Hernandez, my art hero and greatest influence, and Mayra Ramirez, one of my best friends. Today I feel truly humbled and blessed.

Novelas, Love and Other Adventures

Featuring: Jaime Hernandez, Rio Yañez and Mayra Ramirez

This group show investigates the realm of graphic novels and comic books from a Latino perspective


510 S. First Street

San Jose, CA 95113

Exhibition Dates: January 26th – March 26th, 2011

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: February 4th, at 7:00pm

Join us for a gallery walk through and an engaging conversation about their work.

Comic and Graphic Novel Workshop: Saturday, February 19th, 2011

For more information please call: (408) 998-2808

Gallery hours: Wednesday & Thursday, 12:00pm to 7:00pm, Friday & Saturday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm and by special appointment.

Free Admission

Tale of the Tape and other Adventures

In the last two weeks I’ve enjoyed making a couple of impromptu videos with my good friend and Chicano filmmaker Tokoztli. Our most recent adventure was a hunt to find cassette tapes in San Francisco. Tokoztli is the foremost Chicano scholar on the life and recordings of Tupac Shakur and he’s been on a quest to collect his albums on tape. Myself, I was looking for Freestyle tapes in a nostalgic nod to my childhood.

We played the SF Spanish Fly tape all the way back to my place in the Mission. Sadly, I haven’t been able to listen to it since because I don’t actually own something that plays tapes. It’s found a nice home on the shelf above my computer.

Our other recent adventure was a small tour of Banksy artworks around the city.

There’s no footage of the Mission District Banksy piece because a pimp was about to regulate on someone just around the corner and we high-tailed it out of there. Here is the actual piece (which can be found at Mission and Sycamore ) below: