In San Pablito, a small village in Puebla, in southeast Mexico, the centuries-old tradition of amate paper — paper made from bark — is an important part of the local economy. It also used to part of the resistance to Spanish colonial rule.
Carlos Arredondo is a 24-year-old self-taught artisan who crafts papier-mâché figurines. He sees his creations as counterweights to crime and violence; there is beauty and enchantment in Mexico, he says.
Let’s define our terms: According to the Daily Texican, “naco,” not a nice word, is Mexican slang for a lower class, ignorant country bumpkin, and/or a derogatory term for an “Indio” or native.
“Naco art,” therefore, is the Mexican version of lowbrow “art” like Elvis paintings on velvet or sad clowns and/or big-eyed “Keene” people.
East of Los Angeles via Interstate 10 lies the Coachella Valley, home of the desert oasis of Palm Springs, a famed music festival and acres of stately date palms.
On the wrong side of tracks, in the town of Coachella, there’s a group of Chicano artists who call themselves The Date Farmers. They make art out of love for themselves and their neighbors. This is their story. (Apologies to iOS users. KCET insists on using Flash.)