Electric Hero: Cesar Chavez

Linda Vallejo (American, b. 1951)
Acrylic on canvas
Canvas : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Frame : 23 x 18 3/4 in. (58.42 x 47.63 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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Cesar Chavez was a Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist who lived from 1927 to 1993. Born in Arizona, Chavez lived most of his life in California where for decades he led efforts to unionize agricultural workers while fighting to win them better pay and safer working conditions. He was, and still is, widely regarded as a hero by many Mexican Americans and has been memorialized by numerous artworks as well as by hundreds of roads, parks, buildings, and other structures that have been named in his honor around the United States. Artist Linda Vallejo painted this portrait of Chavez in 2009 as part of a larger series depicting her political and cultural heroes, who also include Frida Kahlo, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. The painting’s pixelated style and neon colors were inspired by Vallejo’s interests in digital imagery and the aesthetics of traditional Mexican folk art.

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