Give Me Life: Iconography and Identity in East LA Murals

Holly Barnet-Sanchez ’69 and her co-author, Tim Drescher, spent 12 years researching, writing, and editing Give Me Life: Iconography and Identity in East LA Murals (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). Chicanismo, the idea of what it means to be Chicano, was born in the 1970s, when grass-roots activists, academics, and artists joined forces in the civil rights movimiento that spread new ideas about Mexican American history and identity. The community murals those artists painted in the barrios of East Los Angeles were a powerful part of that cultural vitality, and these artworks have been an important feature of Los Angeles culture ever since. This book offers detailed analyses of individual East Los Angeles murals, sets them in social context, and explains how they were produced. The authors, leading experts on mural art, use a distinctive methodology, analyzing the art from aesthetic, political, and cultural perspectives to show how murals and graffiti reflected and influenced the Chicano civil rights movement.