Rasquache



Rasquache sensibility that has become an important component of Chicana and Chicano art. The word, rasquache can be used in several senses. Its most common use is negative and relates to an attitude that is lower class, impoverished, slapdash and shallow. For this reason Tomás Ybarra Frausto who has written the cogent essay "Rasquachismo: A Chicano Sensibility" begins by stating, "One is never rasquache, it is always someone else, someone of a lower status, who is judged to be outside the demarcators of approved taste and decorum (in Richard Griswold del Castillo and others, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985. Los Angeles: Wight Gallery, UCLA, 1991, p. 155)

However, as the case of several other terms and concepts (most notably the term and concept Chicano itself, which traditionally had a negative sense), the Chicano movement has turned the traditional notion of rasquache on its head. This important Chicano cultural sensibility has been particularly used to address, by means of a stance of resistance that is humorous and ironic rather than confrontational or hard-edged, the harrassments of external authorities such as the police, the immigration service, government officials, social services bureaucrats, and others. Chicano art that is rasquache usually expresses an underdog, have-not sensibility that is also resourceful and adaptable and makes use of simple materials including found ones, such as Luján's cardboard, glue, and loose sand.



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