Born in 1941 in Los Angeles, California, Frank Romero demonstrated an early affinity for 'picture making' through imagery that reflects his heritage. At the age of only 18, his woodcut "Caballeros de la Noche" won First Prize in the State Fair exhibit in Sacramento, 1959! His printing press consisted of a spoon and his muscles and this is the only impression he pulled.
He contributed to the plans for central Los Angeles redevelopment. A number of his murals were incorporated that reflected the large Chicano population, adding to the popularity of downtown Broadway for the pedestrians, office workers, art seekers and shoppers.
In 1974 the University of California Irvine mounted a show of "Los Four" - Romero, Gil Luhan, Carlos Almaraz and Roberto de la Rocha that subsequently was shown at LACMA and the Oakland Art Museum. Of course, interest in the group and in Chicano artists grew.
And the joy of viewing Frank Romero's art is natural since it was created with a gusto, pleasure and just plain fun on his part. An enthusiastic part of every conversation and gathering, he exudes an excitement that is infectious......and his art carries that excitement to us, the viewers!
Vicariously we share a concert at the California Plaza, or a burger at Dolores's Drive In. Perhaps we remember snuggling at a Palm Drive-in or experienced the complexity of a freeway interchange.
Political commentary enters into Romero's work too. See The Arrest of the Palateros as the overzealous Los Angeles Police Department - following the law! - arrested poor ice-cream vendors in MacArthur Park.
Occasionally Romero goes 'off the wall' in three dimensional pieces like Deer Crossing or his collaboration with his students on the obsessive car culture of Los Angeles. (Yes, he is also a teacher and curator).
Frank Romero attended California State University, Los Angeles and the Otis College of Art & Design.
Oil on wood 1985
21 x 21 x 5 inches (53.34 x 53.34 x 12.7cm)