Ray Vargas | The Messenger
Growing up in LA is not only indelibly intertwined in my identity as an artist and individual, but also informs the content and context of my work. My piece comments on religion’s (Christianity/Catholicism) role in displacing and converting indigenous Angelenos and how that shapes the city we know. While respectful of all doctrines and systems of faith, I juxtapose indigenous imagery with Christian/Catholic iconography and incorporate Xicanx imagery with the goal of highlighting how many Angelenos simultaneously embody conflicting identities which often result in beautiful harmony. Through embracing every facet of humanity, we will someday realize a better LA County and a better world. Learning one’s cultural roots leads to personal empowerment. Combining knowledge of self with an understanding of our city within a historical context gives our youth the education needed to move forward with purpose. Only by knowing and understanding where you come from can you truly know where you are going.