About the Cover Art: Introducing Joaquin Alejandro Newman and the Forrealism Movement

Article excerpt

The Anzaldúa portrait on the cover of this Special (Summer 2006) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge is a work of the artist Joaquin Alejandro Newman. The artwork was originally intended for a Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) ofrenda (altar) that Joaquin's partner Evelyn Orantes and he created at the Fine Arts Museum/Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The painting has received many great comments, and has been a wonderful conversation piece at several shows in the Bay Area.

Joaquin Alejandro Newman was born in 1973 in Oakland, and he currently lives and paints in San Francisco's Mission District. Joaquin has studied fine art and digital design at UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College and works as a painter, graphic designer, and illustrator. He has taught at the Academy of Art College, held workshops at the Oakland Museum of California, and made presentations to many classrooms around the Bay Area. Outside of works related to his mixed indian heritage and explorations of other indigenous nations, recent paintings examine the delicate balance between nature and technology, faith and reason, and the Spirit that exists in all things despite the over-culture's attempts at extermination.


"The Forrealism Movement is composed of a group of mixed Indian and Latino artists who create works collectively, drawing from our own traditions and those of our elders who have shared gifts of their wisdom and experience. We do not purport to be religiously bound to these traditions; rather we strive to deconstruct racial barriers in order to construct cultural bridges toward a greater indigenous consciousness.

"As urban Indians working in a city where many cultures come together, the scope of our work spans the Americas. It is not limited to symbolism from our particular cultural background; we serve our community more generally. No one of these traditions defines us, nor do we attempt to expose the complexities and rites of traditions that require specific intention to understand.

"We strive instead to relate concepts and ideological systems and natural cycles that all people have in common. …