“I really identified with the art right away,” actor Cheech Marin told ARTnews for our “Top 200 Collectors at Home,” brought to you by GalleryPlatform.LA. Marin gave us a tour of his art-filled home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I knew what it was. I knew what it was based on. I knew the techniques. I said, ‘These guys and women are really good.’ And ‘How come they’re not getting shelf space?”
Marin, who has been appeared on the “Top 200 Collectors” list since 2017, gives us a look at some of the cornerstones of his collection, which focuses on Chicano art and which he has been building for the past 40 years. His holdings include major works by artists Carlos Almaraz, Gronk (a founding member of ASCO), brothers Jamex and Einar de la Torre, Patssi Valdez, George Yepes, Chaz Bojórquez, Michael Álvarez, and more.
Marin’s collection will form the basis of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry in Riverside, California, which is scheduled to open in 2021. He said that the motivations for establishing the space came out of a realization as his collection traveled the country in the form of an exhibition that at each stop the collection became more and more the community’s than his own.
“You don’t get a straight-line narrative of Chicano art,” Marin said. “It represents the sabor, the flavor, of the community. When you put all these parts together, the 360 gives you a whole picture of that community.”