Alert
Close

   

Enter the Family Fun Travel Sweepstakes. No purchase necessary. See official rules

Highlights

Open
Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together

Horoscope

Gemini - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between May 21 & June 21

CONTESTS & SWEEPS

AARP Family Vacation - Photo Contest

AARP REALPAD

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Bob Dylan Talks!

Most Popular

Viewed

Cultural Expressions

Art and Soul

Three art lovers talk about identity in Latin American and Spanish art — and the museums they love.

Fachada moderna del Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, España

— — MARCO CRISTOFORI/CORBIS

An Artist's Preoccupation

En español | Tony Bechara lives among art. From his New York City studio, which doubles as his home, the acclaimed Latino artist says that while he embraces his culture, it does not define his art. "People are becoming more aware that it's hard to stereotype when it comes to Latino art," says the Puerto Rican painter, whose multicolored-grid abstract works have captivated fans at exhibitions worldwide for decades.

"My preoccupation has been with the optics of color—not because of my essence as a Latino, but as an artist," says the board chair of New York City's Museo del Barrio, the only museum in the city dedicated to Caribbean and Latin American art. Bechara counts the Museo, Spain's Museo Nacional del Prado, and New York's Frick Collection among his favorites.

A Historical View

In Spanish art, identity transcends Europe, says Barbara von Barghahn, professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American colonial art at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "While Spanish art reflects inspiration from other European countries," she notes, "it also encompasses the Moorish and North African traditions, Greek and Roman influences, and Celtic themes."

Nowhere is Spanish art on greater display than at Madrid's Prado, also one of von Barghahn's favorites. Situated in the heart of the Spanish capital, the structure holds thousands of masterpieces, including some by Diego Velázquez and Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (known as Goya). A visit to the Prado can be capped off with a trip to another of von Barghahn's favorites: the nearby Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose works include some by Spain's Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

A Social Justice Perspective

Cynthia MacMullin, curator at the Museum of Latin American Art (molaa) in Long Beach, California, says she makes pilgrimages to the Frick Collection in Manhattan for inspiration. "The works are so historically pivotal," she says. "I weep when I view the art." The Frick boasts works by Goya, Spanish master El Greco, and others.

Latin American art is distinguished by its focus on social issues, MacMullin says. For example, a piece at the molaa, Cotzij, by Guatemalan artist Verónica Riedel, explores identity by creating a multimedia Baroque-themed collage of a young contemporary girl as a princess. "We utilize the art...to understand cultural concepts different from ours in the United States," MacMullin says.

The recently renovated molaa—its facelift reflecting contemporary Latin American architecture and style—features artists such as Cuban surrealist Wifredo Lam and Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo. The museum is 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

These links are provided for informational purposes only. AARP does not endorse, and has no control over, or responsibility for, the linked sites or the content, advertisements, materials, products, or services available on or throughout these sites.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

amazon membership benefits aarp Woman sitting on sofa using digital tablet

Members save 50% on a monthly selection of Kindle e-books from Amazon.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement