Sunday, December 16, 2012

In the Trash with Speedy Gonzales {reposting from November 2007}

Original Posting, November 22, 2007

"Mexicans" Out of the Trash or The Tamayo Tres Personajes Caper

A fair part of my work on the figuration of "Mexicans" in American mass culture finds me pondering the domain of sanitation workers, mobster hitmen, the poor and homeless, and rats (ersatz "Mexican" mouse Speedy Gonzales included): the trash.

For whatever reason, American artists, illustrators, writers, and their ilk spend a fair amount of time picturing Mexicans living in trash--scenes likes these fill the mise-en-scène of Speedy Gonzales cartoons and even late 20th century "masterpieces" like Pixar and John Lasseter's A Bug's Life where Mexicanicity and detritus, and, not incidentally, criminality and lasciviousness, go hand in hand in hand with a transparency befitting Cold-War era propaganda. This scene here, featuring Kevin Spacey's vocal talents as "Hopper," is the most crucial and provocative in the film, as it all unfolds in a straw-woven sombrero remade via CGI into a standard Hollywood cantina.

So it is that the recent tale of Rufino Tamayo and his stolen painting Tres personajes (scroll down) brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

Yes, here again a tale is told of Mexicans in the trash, but here at least the tables have been turned and high art by genius Mexican hands is being saved from the indignities of the dustbin. The New York Post, of all rags, has the best rendition of this curious moment in art history.

A page from the original "Autopsy of a Rat" article from Camera Obscura appears here opposite to your left; a revised version of it appears as Chapter 3 of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America available from,, and a host of other cyber hawkers of ink and paper.


The original version of "Autopsy of a Rat"--a peculiar critical retrospective on animated and animatronic "Mexicans" that chaotically marries the fields of ethnic studies and cultural studies--is now available again through the magic of pdf documents. Hit Speedy with your mouse to have a taste!

I was particularly proud of this article when it appeared in 1996 as it was, at the time, the longest thing I had ever written (over 50 pages with footnotes*) AND the amazing editors (gracias gracias again to Sharon Willis!) at Camera Obscura commissioned me to design the cover of that issue, featuring a digital collage by Guillermo Nericcio García entitled, "Mexicanesque Maus or Autopsy of a ©Rat."

The most bizarre thing about the Speedy piece is that it began its life as a short segment of a longer essay on Pee-wee Herman, transvestism, Medical Center, and more--this essay did not see the light of day till the Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies threw me the proverbial bone and published it in 2004--while the printed edition of the journal had tiny images, the online version features pretty good color and black & white reproductions of key materials. There, wistfully looking out the window to your right, is Robert Reed, the pater familias of the Brady Bunch clan (left) reborn as Pat "Patricia" Gaddisontranssexual, from the memorable episode of Medical Center** that foregrounds my Pee-wee meditation on celebrity masturbation.

*Nericcio, William Anthony. "Autopsy of a Rat: Odd, Sundry Parables of Freddy Lopez, Speedy Gonzales, and Other Chicano/Latino Marionettes Prancing About Our First World Visual Emporium." Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies (January 1996), 37:193, 230n15.

** “ The Fourth Sex.” Medical Center. Dir. Vincent Sherman. By Rita Larkin. Perf. Robert Reed. CBS. 15 Sept. 1975.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Frida Kahlo and Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race

Original posting, May 2009...

As I move forward pulling together the final elements of my new manuscript, Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race, a follow-up volume to Tex[t]-Mex, I have decided to include a chapter on seeing in the work of Remedios Varo, Jorge Luis Borges, and Frida Kahlo--to be truthful, it is a revision and update of a conference paper I delivered 17 years ago, "Surreptitiously Watching the Voyeur’s Mirror: Fragmented Notes on Eye/I Addiction Culled From the Autobiographical Works of Jorge Luis Borges, Frida Kahlo, Jacques Derrida and Remedios Varo" for the Addiction and Culture Conference (Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California, March 1996). A book was birthed out of that conference but I never got my act together in time to submit anything for it--check it out here. In any event, as a placemarker, I wanted to share the plates from The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait that will provide the focus of my chapter--the uncanny, funny, and dynamic "ojosaurus" sketches:
I will try to come back later and sketch out my own thoughts on this striking composition. 
You can peek inside the Kahlo diary here.

Mexican Cinema Villain Extraordinaire: Maricruz Olivier

Las villanas me dieron fama. La gente ha detestado a mis malditas: sólo cuatro en mi carrera. Sé que no me detestan a mí. En la mente de la gente no me quedé como villana, si no como actriz. Cuando hice "Teresa", no faltaba quien me parara en la calle para darme consejos: Muchachita no seas mala hija. Pórtate mejor con tus padres. Otras personas me decían ¡qué horrible comportamiento! Detrás de todo esto había un la está interpretando...
-- Maricruz Olivier, 1983 ("El castillo de las estrellas")

Click to enlarge

Here she is in a scene from Las Pecadoras, The Sinners

Friday, December 07, 2012

Ann Coulter Beats Out Penn State Chi Omega Sorority for TEXTMEX GALLERYBLOG PENDEJA OF THE MONTH, December 2012!

Click the bizarre image below (also a nominee for the bizarre caucasian bestiary)...

Have not heard about the post-Sandusky, Penn State fiasco? Click the offensive picture below

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



NYC Shows Cancelled!

Damned SANDY!!!!! (the Hurricane!)......

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 is a big day for Mextasy, with two exhibitions /presentations/readings/signings taking place in the Big Apple.  The first one, is at SVA/D*CRIT, part of their 'working lunch' series, at 1pm; the 2nd is at the Observatory at 8pm... Hit the posters below for more info!  I will be reading a little from Tex[t]-Mex at each presentation as well as selling/signing books and prints from the Mextasy show (at huge discounts!)...  Be there!

School of Visual Arts @ 1pm
--click to enlarge--

The Observatory @ 8pm
--click to enlarge--
infolink below image

more info

Feliz Thanksgiving from the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog!

Behold, the "Mexican" Turkey!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pulp Fiction: Call Me Deadly

Hot Latina femme fatale singer. check.
Exotic beaded doorway. check.
Phallus/Gun. check.
Afro-Carribean musician. check.
Angry middle-aged protagonist. check...

Pulp Fiction at its best...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mittens Romney, in an Unprecedented Landslide, Elected Textmex Galleryblog PENDEJO OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER--Two Months Running! Felicidades!

{updated below}

So Mittens, aka PENDEJO, lost the election because of Obama handouts.... condoms, free money, etc...


I think he lost because he's an asshole.

... and a pendejo...

I wish when he was running with scissors to scalp that poor classmate, he had taken a mad tumble!

Here's the story from the Daily Kos... click the image for the story...

updated story, new york times...


Friday, November 09, 2012

More Oral-Aural Bigotry camouflaged as humor: El Panzón Cabrón, and all-around Tosser, Rush Limbaugh plays "Feliz Navidad" to the wanting and lazy "Hispanic Community" who voted for President Obama.

Limbaugh, in his quintessentially sick and sad way, attempted to make sense of our national election earlier this week that heavily favored progressive philosophy. In doing so, he naturally waxed bumptiously that Republicans did not lose, rather Hispanics won in their stalwart efforts to sustain their welfare way of life: "Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night.  It's just very difficult to beat Santa Claus.  It is practically impossible to beat Santa Claus.  People are not going to vote against Santa Claus, especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus….I'm sorry.  In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins?"
Today, El Panzón Cabrón, and all-around Tosser continued on air by playing "Feliz Navidad" in a nod to all those Hispanic voters of Obama——our nation's greedy little children seeking free handouts and who are no doubt celebrating an early Christmas:

Tacos, Narcos, Y Lucha Libra: Gustavo Arellano, Daniel Hernandez, and William Nericcio @ CSU Fullerton, Friday, November 9, 2012, 6pm, in the TSU Gabrielino Room

mas info here:

click to make bigger

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

La Migra, circa 1926 | The Fighting Edge (Warner Brothers, 1926)

via Heritage Auctions... "The Fighting Edge (Warner Brothers, 1926). One Sheet (27" X 41"). Kenneth Harlan stars as a U.S. border agent who sets out to rescue agent Patsy Ruth Miller from cattle smugglers in this early silent Western. The "fighting edge" of the title refers to battles along the Mexican / US border between cattle rustlers and the U.S. government. Henry Lehrman, who found success with directing and acting in several Keystone comedies, directs this adventure. This rare stone litho one sheet has edge wear, smudging in the right border, cross fold separation, fold separation, and a nick in the left border. Fine+. Estimate: $700 - $1,200."

More Rita Hayworth-laced Auctions!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Pretty Remarkable LADY FROM SHANGHAI Movie Poster from Argentina! | via Heritage Auctions

from Heritage: "The Lady from Shanghai (Columbia, 1947). Argentinean One Sheet (27" X 42.75"). Rita Hayworth is nothing shy of stunning in this gorgeous Argentinean one sheet. Her scandalous pose and bare back are similar to that seen on the US one and three sheet, however her skin tight dress is a bit more revealing in this poster. A fantastic piece from an equally fantastic film directed by Hayworth's then-husband, Orson Welles. The poster has fold wear, cross fold separation, and a small chip in the left border. Touchup work has been done. Very Fine- on Linen. Estimate: $1,200 - $2,200."

and a bonus Touch of Evil poster from 1958...

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012


I am just processing the news that one of my dearest mentors, the great Mexican author and public intellectual Carlos Fuentes, has passed away--the latest links will be appearing here.

During the 1980s, I worked as a research and graduate teaching assistant for Carlos at Cornell University--it was there that we formed a friendship and a collaboration that changed my life forever. I have documented some of this here on the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog in these postings.

Among the many amazing and magical things that happened during the incredible semester (including the never-to-be-forgotten memory of dancing alongside Carlos at a Latina/o party, downtown Ithaca, at an American Legion Hall {picture it!}), was that I made a lifelong friendship with the talented American playwright, Oliver Mayer--now an Associate Professor in Theatre @ USC.  He and talked the other day about our friendship with Carlos--our shared loss, sadness, and memories.  It was good to talk to Oliver; he's like the brother I never had.

In any event, Oliver posted something on his No Passport Yahoo Groups site that I would like to share it with you here:

Carlos Fuentes was my teacher and friend at Cornell in the mid 80s. He taught me so much about being a writer and being an educator. The man was ferocious with life, dashing, brilliant, curious, and constantly engaged in the politics and culture of our times. I loved him and his family--his beautiful wife and his two children, now tragically both dead before their time. The Nobel Prize should have gone to Carlos many times over. Another artist would have shut down or grown bitter, but Carlos always chose the higher road in his work. His prize is his body of writing, his enormous artistic compassion, and the legion of young artists who learned from his example -- not only as a writer but as a man.
Love, Oliver

Oliver Mayer
Associate Professor
USC School of Theatre
Faculty Master
Parkside International Residential College
Affiliated Faculty: Dept of American Studies and Ethnicity

* * *
A posting of Fuentes family pictures has appeared here.

* * *

Here's a recent BBC Mundo piece and streaming interview with Fuentes from December 2011--the streaming video appears below the imagelink.