The Fire of Life
The Robert Legorreta–Cyclona Collection
Essay by Robb Hernandez


The Chicano Archives, Volume 2
July 2009

The Fire of Life—the collection of performance artist Robert Legorreta—is a fascinating and eclectic archive. Correspondence, artwork, photographs, and other materials document Legorreta’s artistic career and trace the development of the East L.A. arts scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Another part of the collection contains more than a thousand LPs, recordings gathered primarily for the Latino imagery on their covers. The balance comprises materials—toys, coupons, ads, and the like—that show how Latino themes have been used to promote consumer products.
Robb Hernandez first explores Legorreta’s career as the performance artist Cyclona and his influence on the generation of East L.A. artists who emerged during the tumultuous years of the Chicano movement, then assesses the collection in terms of its value to researchers. An illustrated section features album covers and the artist’s thoughts on the significance of their Latino imagery. The book also includes a detailed finding aid for the collection.
ISBN (paper): 
92 pages.
29 black and white illustrations.
8.5 x 11 in.
Available from the
University of Washington Press
$19.95 paperback
2010 International Latino Book Awards
2nd Place, Best Reference Book (English)