Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

El Tamalito del Hoyo

1959 Roberto Chavez Born: Los Angeles, California 1932 oil on masonite 40 x 25 in. (101.6 x 63.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 1959, Roberto Chavez 2012.49.1 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Chavez painted this picture from memory. The artist recalled, “Tamalito, whose real name I never knew, was one of the vatos from ‘El Hoyo,’ the neighborhood directly west and north of where I hung out. In high school I realized that my contemporaries and our environment were what I most wanted to depict in my pictures and stories.” This portrait also serves as an homage to the Mexican American residents and communities of Los Angeles.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013


Figure male - full length


paint - oil

fiberboard - masonite