Linda Vallejo & Man One: Artists On Politics and Being Indivisible in America
“The idea of uniting all nations, all creeds, all colors, all genders, all races, all orientations, always interests me because of the intersection between that philosophy and the actual work. That’s a difficult road to hoe and you have to really spend a lot of time thinking it through.” — @lindavallejo
On this week’s podcast, we are continuing our discussions with artists participating in the Indivisible 2020 exhibition for which Not Real Art is the media partner, and today’s guests are none other than artists Linda Vallejo and Man One.
Linda Vallejo is a multimedia artist who consolidates a range of influences from a lifetime of travel and study to create work that explores contemporary social, cultural, and political issues.
Man One joins Linda in conversation, and these two powerful artists in our community discuss their Latinx identities and the way this has informed their work. They first unpack what indivisibility means to them and share how they both came to realize that they had been brainwashed into the belief that all Americans are united.
As people of color, they have lived experience of the palpable division rampant in our society. We discuss the importance of questioning institutions, and Man One shares why he left the Catholic Church, which is difficult in the highly religious Mexican community.
After discussing this tension, Linda talks about what being a socio-political artist means to her and why she does not subscribe to the conventional understanding of this type of artistry.
Giving us insights into her process, we see that Linda’s work is highly considered and thoughtful. Our conversation also touches on each artist’s respective work, colorism both within the Latinx community and society at large, and what true diversity entails. To hear more from these creative giants, be sure to tune in today!
“I love meeting people who are completely different than me. I learn so much from people who have different beliefs, who look different than me, who speak different than me. To me, that’s the beauty of humanity.” — @ManOneArt
New Book By Katie Love
From Cult To Comedy, A Memoir, by Katie Love
The year is 1970. The horror soap opera “Dark Shadows” is all the rage, the Vietnam War is raging and nine-year-old Katie, an imaginative and independent latch-key kid, comes home from school to discover her mother’s suicide.
Taken in by her older sister who has recently become a Jehovah’s Witness, Katie is shown an illustration from a bible picture book featuring wild animals peacefully lounging by a pool of water, surrounded by happy people picking fruit. An enticing offer is made: “Katie, this is Paradise. Do you want to see Mom again, happy and living forever? All you have to do is follow all of Jehovah’s commandments and you can be with Mom again.”
Mom happy and living forever? Two tickets to Paradise, please!
So begins Katie’s zealous quest to attain perfection and entrance into a utopian world which promises peace, love, and happiness. She discovers a much darker world. “Two Tickets to Paradise, from Cult to Comedy” tells the hilarious and heartbreaking story of an earnest, bible-toting kid intent on saving the world, and follows her metamorphosis into a boisterous comedian intent on saving herself through the healing powers of humor.
Key Points From This Episode with Linda Vallejo + Man One:
- What attracted Linda to participate in Indivisible 2020.
- The changing recognition of socio-political imagery in the mainstream art world.
- Man One’s desire to be a participating artist in Indivisible 2020 and what indivisibility means to him.
- Unpacking the myth of indivisibility that Americans have been indoctrinated into believing.
- The underrepresentation of the Latinx community in LA, despite their being almost half the city’s population.
- Unskilled versus essential workers: An example of how language can shift meaning greatly.
- Questioning the need to make oaths which Americans do from a young age.
- Man One’s disillusionment with the Catholic church and institutions generally.
- The tension within the Latinx community between religion and political views.
- How religion has been a part of Man One’s family’s life and how it’s shifted during the pandemic.
- Linda’s experience of traveling as a woman of color and what she learned.
- Hear Linda’s expanded understanding of what it means to be a socio-political artist.
- Linda’s Big Boy ‘Muchachote’ work and how it took Man One back to his childhood.
- Learn more about Linda’s work repurposing objects and representing them as Latinx.
- The colorism within the Latinx community and reactions to Linda’s work.
- Unpacking whiteness and fair skin as aspirational and how this can be overcome.
- Man One’s experience of being a dark-skinned Mexican and the perceptions people have of him.
- Why Linda believes that everyone needs to go to college and get a graduate degree, if possible.
- Being Latinx with a college education and the weight that this holds.
- Hierarchies that are built into every structure from families to the workplace.
- Man One’s rationale for using lots of color in his work and how people react to this.
- The link between beauty and wealth and how it has evolved over time.
- Linda’s take on humanity’s thirst for violence and war.
- Diversity is not about getting everyone to think the same; it’s about living together while being different.
- The beauty of embracing differences and learning from people who think differently from you.
- Man One and Linda’s upcoming work.
- Addressing the Sasquatch in Linda’s studio.
- Final words from Linda and Man One.
“I didn’t choose to be socio-political; I just became socio-political as a natural, organic process.” — @lindavallejo
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
- Man One — http://www.manone.com/
- Man One on Twitter — https://twitter.com/ManOneArt
- Linda Vallejo — https://lindavallejo.com/
- Linda Vallejo on Twitter — https://twitter.com/lindavallejo
- Linda Vallejo on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/lindavallejoart/
- Linda Vallejo on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/atozgrantwriting/
- Big Boy ‘Muchachote’ — https://lindavallejo.com/big-boy-muchachote/
- Dick and Jane — https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/DNO/dick-and-jane
- Elvis Presley — https://www.biography.com/musician/elvis-presley
- Amerigo Vespucci — https://www.biography.com/explorer/amerigo-vespucci
- Donald Trump on Twitter — https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump
- Logan Hicks on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/loganhicksny/
- Hueman — http://www.huemannature.com/
- Julie B — https://www.prettyinplastic.com/
- Sugar Press Art — https://sugarpressart.com/
- Colette Miller — https://colettemiller.com/
- Erin Yoshi — https://www.erinyoshi.com/
- Tanner Goldbeck — https://www.tannergoldbeck.com/
- Jorge Gutierrez on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/mexopolis/
- RISK — https://www.artsy.net/artist/risk
- Max Neutra — https://maxneutra.com/
- Toofly — http://www.tooflynyc.com/life/
- Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.instagram.com/sourdoughpower/
- Not Real Art — https://notrealart.com/
- Not Real Art School — https://school.notrealart.com/
- Not Real Art on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/notrealartworld/
- Not Real Art Grant — https://notrealart.com/grant/
- Indivisible 2020 — https://creweststudio.com/indivisible-2020/
- Karen Fiorito — https://karenfiorito.wixsite.com/buddhacat
- Karen Fiorito on Twitter — https://twitter.com/buddhacatpress?lang=en
- George Floyd — https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html