Chicano artist reproduces historic LGBTQ protest signs

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- Chicano artist Ruben Esparza creates works of art that educate and empower the LGBTQ community.

"I think the arts are very important for, not just the artists themselves, but also for culture," said Esparza. "I think it's important for us to remember our legacy as Queer folk to push forward like we've done in the past, even stronger."

Esparza's unique style fuses painting, drawing, and digital work with elements of Chicano and Queer culture. Through his art, and curating of exhibitions, he promotes a strong sense of activism. In his project entitled "From the Archives to the Archives" reproduces LGBTQ protest signs from the 60s through the 90s.

"I think it's important to learn the history," said Esparza. "They're reproduced as authentically as possible. I think that art is a very important mechanism to jolt people. And so I try to create works that jolt you, in a way."

Among his potent works, Esparza created a tribute to the victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, most of whom were Latinos as well as LGBTQ. He painted all of the victim's names, using his own blood as ink. He also produces a protest series of anti-President Trump works which he deems to be therapeutic.

In his work as a curator, Esparza created a series of exhibitions entitled Queer Biennial, which promotes LGBTQ artists from all backgrounds and nationalities.

Learn more about Ruben Esparza at https://www.instagram.com/ruben__esparza/

For details about Queer Biennial, go to https://queerbiennial.org/

Esparza currently has an exhibition on display in Los Angeles at the Tom of Finland Foundation, a hub for LGBTQ artists from around the world.

For information on the Tom of Finland Foundation, visit https://www.tomoffinlandfoundation.org
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