Featuring more than 90 black and white photographs set within Los Angeles’ distinct urban landscape, the exhibition also includes some never-before-seen new work. Conceived in 1991, Gamboa’s ongoing Chicano Male Unbonded series seeks to question society’s assumptions about Mexican American men and reveal the far more diverse community of creatives and avant-garde who identify as Chicano.
As Gamboa told The Autry, “I’ve heard people comment, just from looking at the pictures, that they are gang members. But then they get closer, read the descriptions and discover that the ‘gang members’ are lawyers, Ph.Ds, artists and novelists. In these days, when political talk includes discussion about the mass deportation of Mexicans and Mexican males in particular are negatively portrayed, this work stands out.”
Gamboa first hit the Los Angeles art scene as an activist and member of the arts collective Asco, creating work to combat the invisibility, imbalance of power and injustices experienced by Chicanos and Mexican Americans.
Opening Sept. 16, the exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Autry’s LA RAZA photography exhibition and as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the Getty’s effort to unite 70 cultural institutions across Southern California in an exploration of Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles.
In addition to Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Male Unbonded, Gamboa's work can be seen in several other museums and galleries this fall. Among them:
- ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Sept. 23, 2017-Feb. 27, 2018
- Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at the Hammer Museum, Sept. 15-Dec. 31, 2017
- Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. at MOCA Pacific Design Center and One Gallery, Sept. 9-Dec. 31, 2017
- LA/LA/LA at Robert Berman Gallery: Sept. 9-Oct. 14, 2017
- Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell at the Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College: Sept. 16, 2017-Feb. 10, 2018
- Muros Blandos/Soft Walls at Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende in Santiago Chile: Sept. 1, 2017-Jan. 22, 2018
—by Katie Dunham
Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Male Unbonded at The Autry
Sept. 16, 2017 – Aug. 5, 2018
234 Museum Dr., Los Angeles