The Chicano artist Jesse Treviño came from Monterrey, Mexico, to the United States as a child with his family. Later, while a student at the Art Students League in New York City, he was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces and sent to Vietnam. There he was seriously injured, losing his right arm when his platoon was hit by sniper fire. He spent two years in hospitals recovering from his injuries and learning to paint with his left hand. He enrolled in a drawing course at San Antonio College and continued to learn to paint and draw with his left hand. Eventually, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Subjects for the artist’s striking paintings usually include contemporary street scenes, buildings, and people from the Mexican American barrios (neighborhoods) of San Antonio, as in Mis Hermanos. In essence, his paintings, rendered in a style described as both realistic and photorealistic, are snapshots that capture the experience of community life for Mexican Americans today. He describes his work:
The Chicano community is an integral part of the family structure and a social organization providing a point of reference for my work. The images are a natural outgrowth of interrelating my environment with the family structure. These very personal portraits are also visual representations of the diverse aspects of the Chicano culture.
Note: For quote, see Canadian Club Hispanic Tour, exhibition catalogue, El Museo del Barrio, 1984, n.p.
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