Heart of Hearts,

David Zamora Casas

Mixed media and acrylic on canvas |Técnica mixta y acrílico sobre tela
121.9 x 91.4 cm (48 x 36 in)
Collection of the artist | Colección del artista
Photo courtesy of Al Rendon | Imagen cortesía de Al Rendon

Artist’s Statement

Altar for the Spirit of Rasquachismo: Homenaje a Tomás Ybarra Frausto is an installation with a spoken-word video component celebrating the academic landmark term describing a Chicano sensibility, “Rasquachismo,” coined by eminent Latino arts and culture scholar Tomás Ybarra Frausto, PhD. While traditional in many respects, and a vehicle for remembrance, grieving, and closure, the altar fuses Aztec, Pagan, and Catholic ideologies with Mexican, Texan, and XicanX Queer identity in a contemplation of terms historically used to identify Americans of Mexican origin: wet back, illegal alien, pocho, beaner, People of the Sun, and La Raza Cósmica.  

This cultural assemblage presents representations of past and present issues such as gender assumptions, global plunder, non-binary love, and redemption and self-love. The intent is to create a sacred site to preserve cultural heritage and serve as social critique while celebrating beloved people who helped shape community vision. The Day of the Dead / Dia de Muertos tradition of honoring the deceased is subverted to include honoring living beings, our eco-system, and water.