Puro Chingón Collective

The Puro Chingón Collective is a Latino art trifecta specializing in happenings, the activation of nontraditional spaces, designer toys, and art zines.

Collective members are three Austin, Latino artists: Claudia Aparicio-Gamundi, James Huizar, and Claudia Zapata. Initially their creative collaboration was solely as co–workers at the Mexic–Arte Museum, the Official Mexican and Mexican American Museum. In 2012, the Collective was formed after their creation of the arts publication, ChingoZine, and in 2013, the Collective completed their first public mural courtesy of the Downtown Austin Alliance Placemaking Grant. Also in 2013, the Collective initiated The Puro Chingón Social Club, a monthly Latino–themed program presented at the North Door in Austin, Texas. For previous programs, the Puro Chingón Collective conducted interactive film viewings of movies such as Mi Vida Loca, Y Tú Mama Tambien, and Selena. Audience members received props that coincided with key scenes in the film, allowing viewers to augment their experience in a whimsical fashion reminiscent of the Rocky Horror Show. With each created project or public work, the Puro Chingón Collective’s objective is a reimagining and referencing of Latino history and culture. In 2014, the Collective designed the Pachanga Latino Music Festival and debuted their designer toy line, Chingolandia.

Claudia G Aparicio-Gamundi grew up in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to Dallas, Texas at the age of 15. She was always an avid doodler as a little niña and that helped her express herself as she adjusted to life in the US. She eventually turned that passion into a career as a graphic designer, illustrator and letterer. Claudia now lives and works in Austin, Texas with her dog, Ramona.

James Huizar is a 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional artist living and working in Austin, TX. James was born and raised in Pleasanton, TX; a town 30 miles south of San Antonio. Growing up in a rural south Texas farming community majorly influenced the artwork he makes today. He received his BFA in studio art focusing on illustration and printmaking from the University of Texas at Austin. For 6 years he worked as the Collections and Production Manager at Mexic-Arte Museum. While working at the museum he was able to participate in the Young Latino Artist exhibition as a featured artist and as a first time curator. In 2015, he looks forward to focusing on his fine artwork and finishing his comic “Pack and a half” which tells the true story of his journey to quit smoking.

Claudia Zapata is pursuing her Ph.D. at SMU in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture Program in Art History. She received her B.A. and M.A. from University of Texas in art history, specializing in Pre-Columbian and U.S. Latino/Chicano art. From 2010 to 2014 she served as the curator of exhibitions and programs at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas. Her recent projects include the co-founding of ChingoZine, a Latino art zine and Chingolandia, a Latino designer toy line as part of her Latino art collective, Puro Chingón Collective, LLC. Zapata has curated over 30 exhibitions at the Mexic-Arte Museum and other Texas institutions on subjects such as the commercialization of the Day of the Dead holiday, Mexican dance masks, Contemporary Chicano art, lucha libre in popular culture and more.