It’s a world in which lowriders driven by anthropomorphic dogs cruise the streets of Los Angeles and Aztec gods zip along on skateboards. For two months last fall, visitors to UCI’s University Art Galleries were transported by “Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján.” The exhibit, featuring the work of the pioneering Chicano artist who earned an M.F.A. at UCI in 1973, was part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Luján, who died in 2011 at the age of 70, was one of the founding members of the Chicano art collective known as Los Four. His artwork combines two central concepts: Aztlán, the mythic northern ancestral home of the Aztecs, and Magulandia, the term he coined for his work and the space in which he lived in Santa Monica.

All images © The Estate of Gilbert “Magu” Luján

Top left: El Fireboy y El Mingo (1988)
Lithograph with Prismacolor hand markings, 30 x 44¼ inches

Top right: Having a Car Baby (c. 2004)
Mixed media, 22½ x 12 x 12 inches

Bottom left: Flaming Blue (1993)
Acrylic and ceramic, 13 x 14 x 8 inches

Bottom right: La Ella Cruising (2004)
Prismacolor on paper, 21¾ x 30 inches