An interview of Barbara Carrasco conducted 1999 April 13 and 26, by Jeffrey Rangel, in two sessions, for the Archives of American Art.
Carrasco speaks of the roles played by her parents in her career as an artist, her experiences as a light-skinned Chicana, and the marginalization of women artists within the Chicano art movement; her relationship and marriage to fellow artist, Harry Gamboa, Jr., who has supported women artists; and her perception of Asco ("nausea" in Spanish), a group of artists and performers who joined together during the Chicano civil rights movement. She also discusses the influence of the art professors at UCLA and the quality of the training she received there; working with Carlos Almaraz and John Valadez on the "Zoot Suit" mural in Hollywood; meeting César Chávez and how he in part shaped her identity as a cultural worker; attending California School of Fine Arts, Valencia, California, and receiving her MFA there; other Chicana artists such as Carmen Lomas Garza; and the changes in her most recent work.
Biographical / Historical:
Barbara Carrasco (1955-) is a painter and muralist from Los Angeles, California. Carrasco was born in El Paso, Texas, and a resident of the Los Angeles area since 1956. She is best known for her work inspired by the United Farm Workers Union, by her experiences as a Chicana, by historical events, and by personal issues.
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 41 min.
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 the interview and transcription provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Initiatives Fund.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.