The Career of Jose Esquivel has spanned over 50 years in the graphic and fine arts in San Antonio, Texas. In the 1960’s and 1970’s the Chicano Socio- Political Movement was a major influence on his early work and provided a direction that continues to this day. Esquivel was a founding member of “El Grupo” in 1968, one of the earliest Chicano collectives in the country that evolved into “Con Safo” in 1971 in San Antonio, Texas. His work was included in the historical “Dale Gas” Chicano Art Exhibition held at the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum in 1977.
Comments on the Essay:
Dr. Ricardo Romo has written a brilliant piece about Jose Esquivel, a scion of Chicano art. Romo’s historical narrative has included pertinent facts about the early impressions and growing talent of Esquivel. Esquivel’s motivation to express his ideas and feelings through painting was conditioned by numerous human and environmental stimuli. [A true interpreter of the San Antonio Barrio experience] Aside from his enormous talent and productivity, Esquivel is a pioneer within the Chicano Art movement. He was a key figure in the development of Con Safo and continues to be a respected and immensely influential force in that movement.
Because of my friends and colegas at UCLA, I am also familiar with Cordova’s book on Con Safo (UCLA: 2009). Dr. Romo has done justice to Maestro Esquivel, a celebrated and critically acclaimed artist/advocate from our society. Esquivel’s legacy will be a bright and shining testimonial to the dissemination of what constitutes Chicano art in the US.