When I was eight years old, I remember shuffling through a drawer where I found 35mm negatives my sister Dolores had hidden. I pulled them out and held them to the light. They looked like film strips used in elementary school projectors during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The celluloid miniatures held a certain mystery. I wondered how you could make a print from such a small negative. What made this transformation possible?
From this raw beginning, I pursued the many skills necessary to become a professional photographer. I advanced from first taking simple snapshots to eventually exhibiting in galleries. My role as critical observer empowered me, but developing technically and aesthetically as an artist required a great deal of effort and continual experimentation. It also required coursework, taking countless pictures and endless discovery. Over the years, I have learned how to effectively previsualize, capture, store and distribute my art.
During the 1970s, I explored and documented Chicano culture through photography. At this time, Chicanos struggled to enter the American mainstream while retaining their identity. Previously, Chicanos and Chicanas, Mexican-Americans or Hispanics were known as the silent minority. In the 1970s, I became part of a new, loud and proud chorus. Today, I exhibit my work, lecture and lead workshops.