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Olivas, Alexis

Professor Batty

English 101

28 February 2017

Mural Mural on the Wall

Murals contain a hidden point other than for artistic appealment or to fill up a space.

Murals go back in human history with the drawings made in caves during the cavemen era.

These particular murals hold stories and memories. In another sense, they were there to remind

the future generations of their endeavours and experiences. The mural I chose to write about

carries a social point, through a particular kind of music important in Mexican culture

(Rancheras), that the artist believed should be remembered and carried on.

The artist of this mural, Ismael Cazarez first had the chance to engage with his Mexican

culture when he was seven and moved with his family to a border town on the Rio grande River.

He then came back to East Los Angeles in the 70s. This is when the Mechicano Art Center

opened one block away from his home. This is the place when he began to get exposed to many

paintings depicting Mexican icons such as Pancho Villa. This inspired him to want to connect

with his culture and begin doing art himself of it. He studied art at CSUN and later got his

Masters degree in studio arts at CSULA. He began volunteering to paint murals because his

idea was to enhance the community with color and culture (Mural Conservatory of Los

Angeles). Along with being a muralist Cazarez is also a musician. He plays percussion, flute, and

harmonica. This is where I believe his purpose of the mural is strongly based on its musical

aspect. The way the mural was played depicts music as being the main attraction of it.
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In this mural, the background seems to be filled up with blue and green colors. Among

the things drawn in the background are old cars, a family holding hands in the upper right hand

corner and musicians. There are four musicians in this mural which are one man playing the

violin, another man playing the guitar and a last man playing the accordion; all currently listed in

the order which they appear on the mural from left to right. They are all on the left side of the

mural. The seem to just be part of the background due to the dark shadowing. The fourth

musician is a female singer who is painted right in the center of the mural. This placement on the

mural brings more attention to her than anything else. Along her left side are a man with a drink

in one hand and his son sitting next to him while both smiling listening and watching the woman

sing. On the bottom right hand corner there is a man and a woman happily dancing along. All

this seems to show that the mural is based on a musical aspect. Most of the things drawn in the

mural are related to the music being played. It is seen through the fact that a father and his son

are listening to the woman sing and that there is also a couple dancing. This mural was made to

be used as socially engaging art (Kordic) and to depict the community and the culture of that

particular environment.

This mural is showing a scene where Rancheras are being played. This particular kind of

music is depicted through the instruments each musician is playing and how it shows signs of

livelihood. As an article titled Ranchera Music from a website called donQuijote explains

that ranchera music is recognized through its use of certain instruments such as guitars,

accordions, and voice. This article also states that Rancheras is a style of music that helps

characterize Mexican identity. This particular genre of music is a big part of Mexican culture.

Ranchera music has helped define cultural traditions employing universal themes from Mexican

society as well. It does this by telling stories that vary between sorrowful and happy ones. This
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music embraces rural themes and when listening to it gives a small sense of Mexican

romanticism and traditions related to love and such. Rancheras create an important link between

its people and their nationality/country.

All in all, I believe that this mural carries a social point which is that Hispanic people are

straying away from what makes them who they are. Also, that they are beginning to forget a very

significant part of their Mexican (and Hispanic overall) culture. In addition, I think that this

mural was put in a Hispanic community/environment so that it can be both artistically enjoyed

through the reminiscing of our elders and also so that when people see it they are reminded, in

esence, of their roots. In other words it shows as a reminder to them of where they came from.

It serves as a calling of ancestry. In my point of view the artist chose to depict this particular

music genre because it carries with it so much Mexican culture and history. The mural transmits

the joy through the music giving off a positive impact/effect to the community and eventually

convincing them to start to enjoy Rancheras either once again or for the first time. This mural is

asking for a connection with the culture to ignite among the community through music as a

starting point and to later lead them off to enjoying the other wonders of the Mexican/Hispanic

culture as well.

Works Cited

Unknown. "Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles." Ismael Cazarez | Mural Conservancy of Los
Angeles. Unknown, 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
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Kordic, Angie. "Mural. The History and The Meaning." WideWalls. Urban & Contemporary Art

Resource, 2017. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Unknown. "Ranchera Music." DonQuijote. NAFSA, 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

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