Art is Not Revolutionary, the People Are

“Art is not revolutionary unto itself; it is people who are revolutionary”

Artist statement and featured work by Cesar Montero, a cultural worker and Black Rose/Rosa Negra member in Los Angeles, CA.

“My artwork is dedicated to the experiences of the working class; it explores the possibilities of a new society and the contradictions between classes and ideas. While I do place value on how an art piece looks, I’m not as interested in what we consider to be or not be art but instead in how we use that art and how we will continue to use it in the years ahead. Art and propaganda in the US is highly individualized. At times, artist collectives consist of friends who happen to be artists and want to put forward their own individual style together instead of artists pushing forward a communal art style, developing their politics together and serving as the propaganda wing of social/political organizations.  Art is a tool we use, but with all tools, they themselves are not inherently political. Art is not revolutionary unto itself; it is people who are revolutionary. It has been said that the role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible but I believe that the role of the revolutionary artist is not only to paint it, but to change it.”

Cesar Montero, Puntorojo

Cesar Montero is a cultural worker living in Los Angeles, CA and a member of Black Rose/Rosa Negra.
Rent Strike #3 (2020)
Acrylic, solid paint marker on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
Black Trans Lives Matter (2020),
2048 x 2048 px, digital print.
Build Tenant Power (2020)
12 x 5 feet, flat exterior paint on canvas
La Historia La Escriben Los Pueblos (2020)
Acrylic on vinyl tablecloth, 54 x 108 inches
Landlord Subsidies Are Not Enough (2020)
2048 x 2048 px, digital print
Community Outreach (2020)
2048 x 2048 px, digital print
El Arte No Es Revolucionario (2020)
2048 x 2048 px, digital print
La Fabrica (2017)
16 x 12 inches, acrylic on canvas
La Hoz (2020)
2048 x 2048 px, digital print
Bandido (2020)
9 x 4.5 inches, tempera paint, crayon, marker on construction paper

Cesar Montero is a cultural worker living in Los Angeles, CA and a member of Black Rose/Rosa Negra. Connect with him on Instagram @prolemex to follow his work.

This piece was originally published in Puntorojo, an online publication publishing voices of the current generation of Mexicanx, Chicanx, Latinx, and transborder thinkers, workers, scholars, activists, and artivists.