Comedian Serious about Mexican-American Art

Couple in Downtown L.A. by John Valadez

hide captionSee images from Papel Chicano, an exhibition of work by Mexican-American artists from the collection of Cheech Marin.

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"Couple in Downtown L.A."
by John Valadez, 1984
Cheech Marin

hide captionA third-generation Mexican American, Marin has amassed an expansive collection of Mexican-American artwork.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Comedian and actor Richard "Cheech" Marin is most often associated with his role in "Cheech and Chong" — the irreverent comedy duo of the 70s and early 80s. Yet today, Marin is making his mark as one of the world's foremost collectors of artwork by Mexican-American artists.

A third-generation Mexican American, Marin has amassed a sizable private collection of work depicting Mexican-American, or, as Marin says, "Chicano" culture. The images capture scenes of culture and daily life as seen though the eyes of Mexican-American artists.

"Being a Chicano in Hollywood," Marin said in a 2002 interview, "my experience is that you're not given credit for any sophistication ... You're just kind of some guy that just crossed the border, you know, on the back of a truck and that's it."

Marin's hope is that his collection will help viewers appreciate the sophistication and diversity of Mexican-American culture.

An exhibition of the artwork from Marin's collection, Papel Chicano, is currently traveling across the country.

Books Featured In This Story

Chicano Visions
Chicano Visions

American Painters on the Verge

by Cheech Marin, Max Benavidez, Constance Cortez and Tere Romo

Paperback, 160 pages | purchase


Purchase Featured Books

  • Chicano Visions
  • American Painters on the Verge
  • Cheech Marin, Max Benavidez, et al



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