Lujan purchased the Chevy from a cousin in the early 1980’s while he was creating the movie-themed artwork in the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.
Using pinstriping brushes and lacquer-based textile crayons, Luján transformed his family’s 1950 Chevrolet sedan into a lowrider with what he called “a lighthearted kind of folk art narrative.” Unlike other lowriders, Luján humorously blends the aesthetic elements of street rods with symbols of Chicana/o culture.
Later, when times were tough, Lujan used the car to cover rent and traded it to his landlord, who stored it in the auto-salvage yard he owned.
Another artist bought it, but he then needed money, and a pawn shop ended up putting the car for sale on eBay.
Dunlap was shopping for a hot rod on the website when he saw the ad for the 1950 coupe, went to the shop, paid $7,000 for the Chevy and drove it home.
Dunlap sought out Lujan and commissioned the artist to restore the car to its original glory. They became close friends.
one of many of Lujan’s family cars looks essentially as it did in 1987 when Lujan used it as a canvas. This makes me wonder what his other cars looked like
and damn it, a retrospective of his art was just in Irvine, and closed it's run a couple weeks ago
Gilbert Luján was born in Stockton, CA and after 3 years in the Air Force, attended East LA City College, Cal State Long Beach, and the University of California, Irvine where he received a Bachelor of Arts in ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture.
A visionary, a dedicated artist, and an intellectual who helped define and promote Chicano art in the 1960s and 70s, in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. He was born in 1940, the son of Mexican and indigenous parents, and grew up mostly in Los Angeles where he immersed himself in contemporary music and art, occasionally ditching high school to attend art exhibitions.
Between 1976 and 1980, Magú taught at the La Raza Studies Department at Fresno City College, where he also served as department chairman. Later he taught art at Cal Poly Pomona, while maintaining his personal studio, Magulandia, in downtown Pomona.