Edgy Chicano art is InnerG of the party


InnerG was not a somber art show where snooty patrons converse over hors d’oeuvres and wear smoking jackets. Instead, multiple art forms came together to create a popping scene as good as any upscale club.

For one night at Studio MIF in La Mesa, the lines between photography, high fashion, painting and music were deliciously blurred.

SWC student Alexander Contreras stands in front of his photography series that depicts his interpretation of Mexican heaven, which features friends, family, drinks and games.

Alexander Contreras, a Southwestern College student majoring in film and journalism, known by the moniker “Chicano 4 Life,” displayed photographs depicting Mexican culture from his point of view. His photos depicted two men and two women cooking carne arrachera, drinking beer and playing cards on a table. Little details like using the Mexican flag as a tablecloth, the use of bandanas for headbands and a votive candle depicting Jesus not crucified, made the works memorable. Together these objects captured the essence of Mexican culture.

“The goal was to portray the Mexican Heaven and what people in Mexico really do,” said Contreras. “I added a little bit of retro touch. That’s why people are wearing bandanas and different type of clothing to represent the past and the new style of Mexican culture.”

DJ Josh Giggin was one of many DJs that spun the music for the art gallery party of InnerG, with the audience joining in to rap and dance along with the music.

Contreras used vibrant colors, rich contrast and saturation in his photos, however, two black and white photos featured a man donning and wearing a lucha-libre style wrestling mask. The luchador’s eyes stared down the viewer with raw power and strength.

A series of drawings depicted the mythical Medusa using a fineline pen. In the portraits, Medusa is lizard-like with scales creeping up her neck. Her eyes are shut and blood drips down her mouth while tears flow from her eyes. Roses are scattered near the head of the snakes in her hair, removing some of their maliciousness. This Medusa is illustrated as a monster with a pure and relaxed aura of horror.

Art was not restricted to the walls. Racks of shirts and hoodies created an interplay of color on a medium not often fully appreciated as an artistic canvas. Simple lettering designs of the brands displayed drew the focus away from logos/slogans and onto the different colors.

Live musical rap performances kept the atmosphere of the art show charged with energy throughout the night. Attendees joined in by rapping and dancing along with the music. The night vibe was perfectly captured in the essence of a teenage house party, but with less mess and drama.


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