In this episode, Artbound investigates arts practices from communities east of Los Angeles, venturing from Lincoln Heights to San Bernardino. Meet the group Metralleta de Oro, who specialize in Sonidero, a sub-genre of the Mexican cumbia. In Boyle Heights, the group Public Matters' Market Makeover project addresses the "grocery gap" in food deserts. Then head over to East L.A., where visual artist Jaime "Germs" Zacarias takes inspiration from religious iconography and lucha libre to create his tentacle-filled works. Visit with Shizu Saldamando, an artist who paints portraits focusing on the everyday life of her friends. Another area artist, Nery Gabriel Lemus, shares how his visual art is inspired by his experiences as a social worker. Then jump even further east to San Bernardino to meet the desert pop surrealists the Date Farmers. Featuring a live studio performance by Chicano Batman, whose music fuses funk, R&B, Latin soul, bossa nova, psychedelia, and pop.
The Artbound episode "East is Eden" will air on Thursday, March 27 at 9 PM PST on KCET-TV.
Check out the videos included in this episode below:
The trio of young Mexican American DJs Metralleta de Oro specialize in Sonidero, an extremely rhythmic sub-genre of the Mexican, Central and South American cumbia genre notable for its thumping repetitive bass lines.
Poor diet and lack of physical activity in Boyle Heights are made possible by barriers to health in the L.A. neighborhood.
Visual artist, Jaime "Germs" Zacarias takes inspiration from religious iconography, lucha libre, and the city of Los Angeles to create his signature tentacle-filled works.
Shizu Saldamando's portraits are heavily influenced by Chicano art sensibilities and her Japanese heritage. Her subjects aren't the cookie-cutter characters we see in popular culture, but real, breathing beings actively building their identity.
Artist Nery Gabriel Lemus gracefully exposes the subtle racial tensions between Latino and African American cultures in his work.
The Date Farmers make Chicano pop art; they are desert Rauschenbergs, infusing abstract expressionism with a politically charged, pop culture update.
As the cultural map of music making continues shifting in East L.A., Chicano Batman has become the sound of local Latino music in the 21st century. The band performs in the KCET Studios.
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