I am Frank Estrada. I am an American. I am Latino, specifically Mexican American. My work celebrates my ancestry and my perspective on being Mexican American. I am proud to be both Mexican and American. My work has been influenced by: Jose Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Méndez, and Elizabeth Catlett. Posada and Méndez were Mexican artists who portrayed their political and social views from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. While Catlett, a Black American artist, created work celebrating the heroic achievements of African American and Mexican working-class women in the 20th century. Their work influenced me to make artwork about my political view of how Latinos, Mexicans in general, are stigmatized. My work shows the heroic nature of the people in my heritage.
My prints are from woodcuts. I printed in black and white to keep the same idea of mass-producing visual information to the public, just as Posada, Méndez, and Catlett did. My images generally include people of Mexican descent and their struggle to achieve the “American Dream” and adapt to mainstream society. To present my views of struggle, I incorporated the hardships man Mexicans go through to make a living in America. Whether it’s picking tomatoes in a field, cleaning someone’s home, taking care of someone else’s child, or risking it all just to become equal in American society. Regardless, my enriched culture contributes plenty to mainstream America, with the good outweighing the bad.
This show is in memory of María Mandujano, Francisco Selvera, Hoyt Lynn Wilson, and Marilyn Merritt Wilson.
Below are photos from My Red, White, and Blue BFA Thesis Exhibition installed at Gallery 130 located inside the University of Mississippi Department of Art & Art History.