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Even though you might be living behind bars, the desire to create still lives inside you. You’ll grab whatever materials you can find and make something to pass the time, to express your fears and to make a statement about your life. In the 1990s, Chicano prisoners in San Antonio, Texas, took square pieces of cotton, called Paños, and created elaborate scenes with ballpoint pen. Some curators now recognize them as folk artist.
Maria Hinojosa went to the home of David Joralemon, a New York art collector and spoke to curator Martha Henry. Part of David’s collection is currently on tour in Venice.