Tía Chuck is a documentary film following the life and work of the late artist and graphic designer Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010). A native San Antonian, Ramirez had a successful career in graphic design and advertising before he came unto his own as a conceptual artist in his early thirties. In the mid 90’s Ramirez's work was part of a growing contemporary Latino art movement as well as a larger community of artists and exhibition spaces focused on creating and exhibiting contemporary art in San Antonio. Primarily employing large-scale photography, Ramirez's pieces investigate the rituals and forms of everyday life and are charged with metaphors of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion. Piñatas, candy trays, brooms, a Whataburger cup - Chuck Ramirez’s work recontextualizes objects from the banal to the extraordinary. Working with materials and images that are part of his daily life - a life impacted by being HIV positive - Ramirez transformed the language and power of advertising into a call for action and compassion, expression, and self-actualization. Throughout the final fifteen years of his life, Ramirez played an active role in the community as a fundraiser and advocate for contemporary art and exhibited his work nationally and internationally.
On November 6, 2010 Chuck Ramirez died after falling off his bike less than a block from his home in Southtown. It was then that filmmakers Mark and Angela Walley began documenting a community deeply affected by the untimely loss of an artist who many felt was the heart of the art community. Tía Chuck will utilize footage captured in the days following the artist’s death, interviews conducted with Ramirez before his passing, archive footage and photographs collected from family and friends, and newly shot footage to illustrate stories told by those closest to him. With the support of Ruiz-Healy Art, the gallerist and exclusive representative for the estate of Chuck Ramirez, Tía Chuck will have access to the entire scope of the artist’s work. This documentary film will ensure that his legacy lives on – bringing his remarkable life and work to new audiences.
We have raised $19,350 towards our total goal of $37,250. Thanks to grants from The Idea Fund, The Artist Foundation of San Antonio, as well as individual donations we have completed pre-production and started production on this film. Your contribution will allow us to continue production with the goal of completing the film by the end of 2014. The premiere public screening of Tía Chuck will be made possible by the support of Artpace San Antonio. Thank you for your support!
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