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Gaylords, Chicago

A work made of silver dye-bleach print.

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  • A work made of silver dye-bleach print.




Luis Medina
American, born Cuba, 1942–1985

About this artwork

Born in Cuba, Luis Medina immigrated to Miami after a multiyear tour of Europe in his teens. He relocated to Chicago in 1967 to study first sculpture, then photography, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a boy in Havana, Medina had, as he put it, “explored the brightest and darkest corners of that city … in search of ineffable essences, contradictions, and tragedies contained in anything human.” This interest in his immediate surroundings continued in Chicago, where he turned to the territorial gang graffiti he found in his own neighborhood northwest of Wrigley Field. Medina approached these images as an archivist and as someone familiar with power struggles, photographing several walls after gang members had swung cans of white paint at them to efface a rival gang’s graffiti. He eventually gained the trust of members of several Latino gangs, who allowed him to take their portraits in front of their graffiti, in a further gesture of power and defiance.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Luis Medina


Gaylords, Chicago

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1980


Silver dye-bleach print


Image: 25.8 × 25.8 cm (10 3/16 × 10 3/16 in.); Paper: 35.1 × 27.7 cm (13 7/8 × 10 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Lucia Woods Lindley and Daniel A. Lindley, Jr.

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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