Coyote as Clown, Cowboy, and Creator

Artist Harry Fonseca Transformed the Native American Folk Figure Into a Commentary on 20th Century Culture

In 2006, during the last few months of his life, the artist Harry Fonseca often spent Sundays in his Santa Fe studio with the curator Patsy Phillips. His ability to work curtailed by cancer, Fonseca liked to talk about making art, which he once called his “heartbeat,” and the ways in which it functioned as a conduit between his Native heritage and the world at large.

Fonseca was of Hawaiian, Portuguese, and California native Nisenan Maidu heritage. Thinking perhaps of some of the barriers he had struggled with during his …

Are Replicas Changing the Way We Experience Art?

Precise Digital Reproductions Allow More People to Own and View Masterpieces, Minus the Work’s Soul

You are in the Chauvet cave, 35,000 years old. As you enter, the walkway you traverse winds around spot-lit, saber-toothed stalactites and stalagmites. The rough-skin texture of the stone walls …

Life Lessons From South L.A.’s Most Influential “Rag Man”

Renowned Artist John Outterbridge Has Spent Decades Mining His Surroundings for Material

John Outterbridge has spent more than eight decades noticing, saving, and recombining parts of his surroundings. It’s an artistic method. His sculptures bring together different found materials, and the resulting …

A High Flying Artist Never Forgot the People Working the Land

Among José Montoya’s Abundant Creative Output Are Thousands of Sketches Documenting Chicano Life

When Richard Montoya started organizing an exhibition of his father’s art, he was astonished at the sheer number of sketches he found. He and his co-curator, Selene Preciado, eventually chose …

Did Picasso Have a Higher Purpose?

Art Can Inspire, Challenge, and Entertain. But Does It Make Us Better People?

Do the arts make us better people? If you’ve devoted your life and career to art in one way or another, you may believe the answer is yes. But a …

A Piece of Home in a Lost Mural

Last summer I went on a bit of fact-finding mission to little National City, just across the municipal border from San Diego’s south side. Every summer and school break when …