NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
AMERICAN ART
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION





Dear Mr. Bryan:

Thank you very much for sending me a copy of your new video Graffiti Verite. Chaz Bojorquez told me about the project shortly after you contacted him and it sounded very interesting. When he called with such great enthusiasm about the finished product, I knew that I had to see it. I appreciate you making my viewing of it so convenient.

I am particularly pleased that you took the approach of letting the artists speak for themselves. This, I think, is very important and is too little done. Really the last thing artists like this need are outside "experts" to legitimize their work, they legitimize it every day. I was also pleased to see that you chose not only some of the best artists, but many of the most eloquent ones as well. This will do a great deal to help dispel the (usually) wrong impression that graffiti artists are anti-intellectual and unaware of anything other than their own wish to express themselves. I was particularly pleased, on a very selfish level, to see that the Chicano and other "minority" artists were so well represented and came across with such integrity, intelligence, and cultural and artistic knowledge. This has been my focus at this museum for the past few years, to differentiate between the vast majority of young Chicanos and gang members or criminals. Unfortunately society tends to get an image in mind and it sticks. Thank you for helping to dispel these stereotypes.

Also, I have to commend you on bringing in some historical context for the LA writing scene. Too many people only see the recent New York influence rather than the long term Mexican American writing tradition as represented by Chaz. The image by Chaz that you included on the video box hangs in my office and it is watching me as I write this. By bridging generations and walking comfortably between the world of galleries and museums, and the street and yards, Chaz is a very important artist who knows the history and is helping shape the future.

Again, thank you for the video and the other material. I send you all the best for the success of this and future projects.

Sincerely,

Andrew Connors
Associate Curator