An interview of Frank Romero conducted 1997 January 17-March 2, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art, in Romero's studio, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Romero discusses his growing up in East Los Angeles and his large extended family; his earliest art studies in the public schools; attending the Otis Art Institute where he studied with Joe Mugnaini and had contact with Millard Sheets and Peter Voulkos; the "very polyglut culture" of East Los Angeles; the influences of television, western movies, rock-and-roll, and rhythm and blues on his early musical/artistic taste; time spent in New York; returning to Los Angeles in 1969; and his marriage and family.
He describes his move into Carlos Almaraz's house which became the informal meeting place of the artist group Los Four (Almaraz, Romero, Gilbert Sanchez Lujan, and Roberto "Beto" de la Rocha); the Los Four show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1974; and the stylistic aesthetics of Los Four.
Romero describes the "boys club" nature of Chicano art centers; his contributions to the Chicano art movement; his relationship to the Chicano/Mexican culture and mainstream U.S. culture; murals done by members of Los Four for the Inner City Mural Program; his work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority; the Murals of Aztlan exhibit in 1981 at the Craft and Folk Art Museum; and his shows at the ARCO Center for the Visual Arts. He concludes with his assessment of the Chicano arts movement, the relationship between economic and art cycles, and the role of the more established artists to those of a younger generation.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank Romero (1941- ) is a painter from Los Angeles, Calif.
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 27 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 provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Pool Fund.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Muralists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews Search this
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews Search this
A panel discussion, "Should Government Patronize the Arts," sponsored by the Hollywood-Los Feliz Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, California. Panel members are Sister Mary Jean, Joseph Mugnaina, and Kenneth Ross, with Edward Biberman as moderator.
An interview of Joan Ankrum (4/28/64) conducted by B. Hoag is also on this tape.