Jose Guerrero does make art in his Pilsen studio. In fact, he’s getting ready for a show as we speak. But mostly, Gerrero gives tours of all the murals around the Pilsen neighborhood. It’s because of this that he calls himself an amateur anthropologist.
Amateur anthropologist? I repeat. Seems to me like you’re a pretty well-established anthropologist.
Jose Guerrero laughs hard for a minute, slapping the table in front of him.
I’m glad you said that, he says. Did you hear that, Margaret? I’m an established anthropologist. He turns back to me. I hope you write that down in your article, he says. Established anthropologist.
So you’ve watched Pilsen and Humboldt Park change since 1964. Do you think art has impacted the sense of community in Pilsen, and have you seen anything similar happening in Humboldt Park over the last 40 years?
Well, in Humboldt Park, they do have art. All communities appreciate art. The thing is that the people arriving there were not appreciating it. It’s slum art, it’s viaduct art, they say.