When I arrived on my first day at Mi Tierra, I grabbed a stool and set up in Dicochea’s narrow corridor of 16 paintings just before a tour breezed through. I overheard a few key points which have helped me to contextualize the work a bit. Although this portion of the exhibit really stood out to me from the get-go it helped to know a little more about it as I form my opinion. The docent explained to her tour group that Dicochea’s piece is a reimagining of the ‘La Casta’ paintings. From what I gathered, the La Casta paintings were a series of paintings created by a Mexican artist some few 100 years ago. The general theme of the La Casta paintings was interracial union and offspring. Later, I visited these painting myself in a different gallery at the museum. The plaque displayed with them seemed to imply that this piece was some sort of guide to or index of multi-race off-spring. Each featured a man, woman, and child. Likewise, with the exception of 2 or 3, each of Dicochea’s paintings feature a man and woman of different race and some type of offspring. The docent pointed out the Claudio used some familiar characters in his paintings, and occaisionally “re-raced” them to suit his purposes. The idea that the casta paintings were intended for an objective like the aforementioned makes the satire, pops of color, and light heartedness of Claudio’s piece all the more striking and seemingly conversational. What message was Claudio trying to convey?

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