I had the opportunity to film Cheech Marin in his Pacific Palisades home and show the world his infamous art collection. Sometimes warm, sometimes cynical, and sometimes profound, I found Marin's passion for the artists he champions as real and sincere. Editing this film I was struck by Marin's sobriety and the casualness of his delivery in the interview. Though, I try to stay neutral in my critiques of artists and their work and the opinions shared by my subjects, as a filmmaker, it was a pleasant surprise for me to hear his comments on Chicano art from Los Angeles and Texas. Did I mention, I grew up in Texas? It also seems to me that Cheech has seen and heard it all in his proselyting battles in the art world. Is he battle-weary of dealing with all these artists? Will Europe or the Hamptons take him seriously? Why does he call "artists a pain in the ass?" This is what I'm wondering and I wonder if he thinks these things too. Perhaps, I could get the opportunity to film him again and ask him. I could be blowing smoke here so it's best to let you judge for yourself.
Eric Minh Swenson is a filmmaker/photographer who covers sex, art, and rock and roll.
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