Monday, July 25, 2011

Mr. Magu of Magulandia

Years ago I was volunteering at the Latino Museum in Los Angeles. There was to be an exhibit on the Chicano artists, Los Four - Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha, Frank Romero, and Magu. I was going to put together the favorite music of each artist, the thought being the music would add another dimension to experiencing the art. Another layer of their personal expression, if you would.

Off I went to El Sereno to learn more about the music that Magu liked. I was nervous.

Meeting Magu did away with all nervousness. He shared consejos, questions, and opinions sometimes all in the same spoken paragraph. A lot to take in and a lot to absorb. Part Zenmaster, part organizer and all artist. There are many who have written about his art - its unique voice and so on. If you're not familiar with his works they are worth the read. If you've not seen his work check out

I've been thinking of him as the Founder of Mental Menudo - meetings of Xicano artists, art lovers, and so much more. He would never fully explain what they were about beforehand, he always told just enough to be intriguing, or more to the point, to make the idea of attending and participating intriguing. I always left a Mental Menudo truly thinking about what had been shared. A typical quote from Magu was "The communication between us has awakened the fresh aroma of the mind...Let us serve the menudo aesthestico para la union.*

Magu was a philosophical instigator, his energy propelled a cultural and social catalytic converter. Ideas were unraveled and rethreaded through discussion. Conclusions weren't necessary.

We lost Magu's physical presence on Sunday. We are lucky we still can enjoy his art.

He will remain in our hearts and will be a part of any menudo aesthetico for a very, very long time. And the essence of that broad, slightly sly, slightly impish, always friendly grin will filter from mind to heart while his energy will fill the room.

Thanks to Sergio Hernandez for use of his artwork for this post.


*, July 25, 2011
Sergio Hernandez -


  1. He looks like such a nice chap. So many things I don't know -- I will definitely check out his work.

  2. The world is such a wonderfully vast place - so much to explore. If you go to you'll get to learn more about him and about the work he did.

    Adolfo Guzman Lopez of KPCC did a fine piece on him this morning.