Zarco Guerrero, the Man behind the Masks
Zarco, "What kind of a name is that?" was the first thought that came into my head upon hearing that name for the first time. I contemplated the letters and saw that rearranging them spelled Ozcar, could this be it? I googled the name and found out that Zarco is the Portugese surname of Cristobal Colon, the European attributed with discovering the new world and its millions of inhabitants. I could never understand the concept of claiming to be the first to discover something when hundreds of millions of people already knew about before you did. I guess it’s like buying a used car and calling it new, because it is new to you.
Well, we have the same situation here with the artist known as Zarco; Zarco Guerrero to be exact. He has discovered a new world in one that has been known to many and has existed for millenniums - the mask.
Zarco takes the mask as it had been used in primitive times, and in the present he gives new life to the mask to convey knowledge and wisdom through emotions and convictions. Indeed, Zarco has bridged over obstacles of communication with his masks; which seem to possess the actor and immediately transform him into another being with its own dimensions and complexities that make up the human character we call attitude.
In Zarco’s latest work, a DVD entitled, "Face 2 Face - In a Frenzy" his talent shines through not only as a brilliant actor, but gifted writer and artist extraordinaire. His masks are more than just mantle pieces of art to display and admire; they are images of strong emotions capable of capturing your attention and taking you down newly discovered political and social territories.
Some of the characters in Zarco’s Face 2 Face are El Bato Poeta, who is a well known character in every barrio and immediately engages the viewer with his whimsical mannerisms, which later reveal a person of deep thought and lover of life - he is the embodiment of the Pachuco. Then there is El Narizon, that little voice inside all of us that tells us to love and respect ourselves. And La Comadre, who portrays the women in our lives that know who they are and what they are worth - la mujer that demands respect and gets it. The other characters I will leave for you to meet when you view Face 2 Face.
Zarco’s Face 2 Face is a worthwhile experience. What I admire most about this work, second only to creativity, is the absence of profanity, vulgarity and chauvinism, which seems to have permeated much of the art world today. It is refreshing to find an artist that doesn’t need to use the "F" word to get attention. Face 2 Face crosses gender, age and ethnic boundaries, yet remains very Chicano!
Visit Zarco Guerrero
Ernest M. Saenz