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Co-fournder of Self-Help Graphics Dies

by Kathy Gallegos Sunday, Sep. 02, 2001 at 4:37 AM
ave50studio~msn.com

Only three years after the death of Self-Help Graphics' founder, Sister Karen Boccalero, Mazatlan artist Carlos Bueno died Saturday of heart failure at the age of 60. Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Carlos Bueno moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960's with a vision for Mexican-American culture. In the 1 970's, Carlos organized Self-Help Graphics' Barrio Mobile Arts Studio, bringing a van loaded with art supplies to parks, community centers and the housing projects of East L.A.

For Immediate Release
The Avenue 50 Studio
Contact: Kathy Gallegos
131 No. Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042
email: ave50studio~msn.com

CO-FOUNDER OF SELF-HELP GRAPHICS DIES

Only three years after the death of Self-Help Graphics' founder, Sister Karen Boccalero, Mazatlan artist Carlos Bueno died Saturday of heart failure at the age of 60. He was the last existing founder of Self-Help Graphics. Along with Sister Karen and the late Antonio Ibanez, Carlos Bueno saw Self-Help grow from a silk-screen shop in an Eastside garage to a cultural fixture in Los Angeles.

Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Carlos Bueno moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960's with a vision for Mexican-American culture. In the 1970's, Carlos organized Self-Help Graphics' Barrio Mobile Arts Studio, bringing a van loaded with art supplies to parks, community centers and the housing projects of East L.A. He brought the now famous Day of the Dead to Los Angeles, broadening the cultural connection between Mexico and the US.

Carlos Bueno's artistic theme was controversial, yet pleasing. His calligraphic style produced sensuous figures of women as mermaids, whores, sirens and transvestites. The Chicano art movement that Carlos helped develop made the most of Chicano/Mexicano cultural and ethnic values, creating a regional art within the grand scheme of Latin American Art.

For the past 20 years, he had been living and working in the port city of Mazatlan. After so many years away from Los Angeles, Carlos returned one final time in April of this year for a solo exhibit at The Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park. His life size pen and ink drawings, "LIoronas y Otros Personajes" ("Weeping Ladies and Other Characters"), tapped into his love affair with the street people of Mazatlan - the same barrio back streets as L.A. For the last eight years, he took a daily bus to the Cereso Prison outside of Mazatlan where he taught free art classes and directed a group of artists inmates, "Los Camaleones" The Chameleons.

As in Mazatlan, L.A. will remember Carlos Bueno as an artist of the forgotten people. The barrio projects and the wharf bars, the vida loca and transvestite whores, and the sailors with their dreams of mermaids.

Carlos is survived by his sister, Norma Aracely Bueno Poblatt.
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