Four women in baggy jeans and red lipstick stand on a bridge with the haze of Los Angeles smog in the background. A teenager with a faint mustache in an oversized Dallas Cowboys jersey poses with his arms around the waist of a girl in a crop top. The colorful striped shirts and bleached hair of four members of the Swing Kids party crew pop against a photographer’s plain gray dropcloth. These are just a few of the snapshots collected by Guadalupe Rosales’ Instagram account Veteranas and Rucas, which chronicles the stories of Southern California’s Latinx youth for its more than 183,000 followers.
Though her Instagram began with her own personal photos from growing up in L.A.’s Boyle Heights neighborhood in the 1990s, they grew to include crowd-sourced images and other ephemera connected to L.A.’s Latinx youth culture. Guided by an instinct to create counternarratives, Rosales’ Instagram archive tells the stories of communities often underrepresented in official archives and public memory. She views such work as a way of decriminalizing and reframing the history of brown youth, as well as connecting and reconstituting community.
Created in collaboration with nonprofit photography foundation Aperture, Guadalupe Rosales: Legends Never Die, A Collective Memory gathers photos and related memorabilia to translate these stories from phone screens to the walls of Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. For this exhibition, which extends from a feature in Aperture’s Fall 2018 issue, “Los Angeles,” Rosales presents an installation of materials from her archives—from photobooth images of couples to young Chicanx women posing with cars to the party crews that ran East L.A.’s underground music scene in the 1990s.
Guadalupe Rosales is an artist and archivist based in Los Angeles. She is founder and operator of Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz, digital archives accessible through Instagram. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, California; Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. In 2016, Rosales took over The New Yorker’s social media for a week and it was one of the top-rated takeovers of the year. Her subsequent role as the inaugural Instagram Artist in Residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was featured in The Los Angeles Times, Artsy, and Artforum. She has lectured at numerous museums and academic institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the New Museum, New York; New York University; and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, among others. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.
Guadalupe Rosales: Legends Never Die, A Collective Memory will be on view Jan. 25 through March 8 at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Join us for an artist talk and reception on Jan. 25, from 4:30–7:00 p.m. For further details: exhibits.haverford.edu/legendsneverdie.
Support for Guadalupe Rosales: Legends Never Die, A Collective Memory’s presentation at Haverford College is provided by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.