Queer Latinx tribute artists photographed by Arlene Mejorado

Metro Art embraces Pride month with an intimate series by photographer Arlene Mejorado. Caricias is a love letter to migrant LGBTQ+ tribute artists who embody and perform as iconic divas in the Latinx community such as Jenni Rivera, Juan Gabriel, Celia Cruz, Chalino Sanchez, Selena and Paquita la del Barrio. Often performing at backyard tent parties, first communions, weddings and quinceañera celebrations, these queer artists are hired to be centerpieces of entertainment bringing elements of drag culture, comedy, dance and beloved songs to intergenerational family gatherings. 

These artworks are on view at Hollywood/Highland Station as part of the Metro Art Lightbox Exhibition Program. 

“These performance artists invite spectators to participate and to embrace closeness, holding their discomfort and often subverting it as palpable comedy.” – Arlene Mejorado

About the Artist 

ARLENE MEJORADO is a first-generation artist from Los Angeles working with analog and digital photography, video and installations. In her practice she experiments with documentary forms, depicting truths that aren’t visibly represented or legible but are experienced viscerally. Through visual media, everyday materials, and repurposed documents, Mejorado engages in repair work, countering erasure and mending fragments in personal, collective, diasporic and migrant experiences and stories. Specific subjects she explores are quotidian spectacles, performance and pleasure, the construction of legacy in working class communities of color, culturally subversive spaces and collective gestures of catharsis and resistance.  Mejorado was awarded a Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellowship, DocX fellowship with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, NALAC artist grant and Lucie Foundation Independent Book Award. Her photography has been published in Vogue, The Atlantic, California Sunday Magazine, Pop-Up Magazine and Los Angeles Times. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Visual Arts at The University of California in San Diego.

Learn more about this series 


About the Photo Lightbox Series  

Initiated in 2001, the Metro Art Photo Lightbox Series is a program that produces temporary exhibitions to engage a broad range of Metro riders on their daily commute. Lightbox displays are comprised of photographic transparencies sequentially arranged on internally illuminated boxes installed at the following Metro stations: 7th St/Metro Center Station, Hollywood/Highland Station, Universal/Studio City Station, Vermont/Beverly Station, and Wilshire/Normandie Station.  


About Metro Art    

Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative, award-winning arts programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites and neighborhoods throughout LA County. A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. 


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1 reply

  1. I’m gay, Mexican American man and somehow now I get lumped into this insulting and offensive “queer latinx” identification. Shame on you metro.