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CriticasOver the last 15 years, Gomez Pena has attained cult celebrity status as a highly original performance artist concerned with transnational identity. Using nicknames like "Border Brujo" ("Border Witch"), "El High-Tech Mex," and "El Mexterminator," he has become one of today's most articulate, creative, and irreverent Mexican American artists. After migrating to the United States in 1981 to study at the trendy California Institute of the Arts, Gomez Pena fell into a crowd fostering a renaissance of what has become known as performance art. With various collaborators, most notably the academic theorist Coco Fusco and apprentice performance artist Roberto Sifuentes, Gomez Pena staged a series of tableaux, spectacles, and text- and visual art-driven performances that dramatized the immigrant experience in unexpected ways. Many of these are pictured here-the most striking a b&w shot of Gomez Pena and Fusco dressed as Native Americans on display in a cage in Madrid. The images, some powerfully stark, others gratuitously kinky, and others just plain silly, are accompanied by a series of essays, biographical sketches, and bilingual poetry that are often stunning in their precision and intelligence. Although his work and ideas are serious, and Gomez Pena may be a visionary, he also manages to have fun and entertain readers. Highly recommended for academic libraries, especially art and Latino studies collections.
—Ed Morales, Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.