Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Willie Herrón conducted 2000 Feb. 5-Mar. 17, by Jeffrey J. Rangel, for the Archives of American Art.
The interviews took place in a restaurant, City Terrace, East Los Angeles, Calif. Herrón describes his childhood growing up in East Los Angeles, culminating with an extensive discussion of the circumstances surrounding the painting of his most acclaimed mural, "The Wall that Cracked Open" in City Terrace; founding the avant-garde Chicano art group Asco along with Harry Gamboa, Jr., Patssi Valdez, and Gronk; his experience as leader of the band Los Illegals and as a cofounder of the alternative music space Club Vex with Self Help Graphics' Sister Karen Boccalero; the Chicano mural movement, particularly his undertakings in City Terrace, Boyle Heights, and at the Estrada Courts and Ramona Gardens housing projects in East Los Angeles; his commitment to working with at-risk youth and his strong desire to expand the stylistic and iconographic parameters of the medium through the incorporation of graffiti; and an assessment of Asco's role in expanding the continuum of Chicano art and identity.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Willie Herrón, 2000 Feb. 5-Mar. 17. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Willie Herrón (1951-) is a painter, graphic artist, muralist, and musician from Los Angeles, Calif. Herrón is known as one of the premiere artists and musicians to emerge out of the Chicano arts movement during the 1970s.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for this interview and transcription provided by the SI Latino Fund of 1997.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001