Almost a dozen lowriders, some fresh off the truck from the Lowrider Tour Las Vegas Super Show, will be on display at the opening reception of “Lowrider Excellence: The Leal Brothers,” from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art.

While guests examine the bright glittery patterns painted perfectly on the lowrider exteriors and their matching custom interiors, the Grammy-winning Tejano band, Los Palominos, will entertain with hits such as “Por Eso Te Amo.”

Maurice Roberts, the chief curator for the Five Points museum, called the national Super Show competition the “Super Bowl of lowriders.”

“Art cars and hot rods are about personalization and changing a Detroit commodity into something personal, but lowriders take it to another level,” Roberts said. “Look at the paint job – they use material science art skills at a level that is truly a mystery, the way they can completely coat a car and make it perfect and then in a couple of years, they might repaint it to make it different.”

The Leal Brothers, lowrider artists from Corpus Christi, won first and second place in the Lowrider Car of the Year category at the Super Show in 2018. The family has built its reputation for mastery of the meticulous art form for many decades. Freddy Leal, Jesse Leal, Juan Leal, Benny Leal, Frank Leal Jr., Frank Leal III, Phillip Flores, Paul Vela, Mike Guzman and Eloy Cardenas work in the family enterprise.

“The Leal Brothers work very much as a family on projects,” Roberts said. “They all chip in to the creation of their cars, and it’s as much a way of life as an art form, and much more than a hobby.”

The exhibit also will feature video and photography of the lowriders shot by Ernesto Leon and Irvin Tepper. Some of the lowriders have participated in past art car parades, while others are rolling into Victoria for the first time.

The Uvalde band Los Palominos won best Tejano performance at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards for “Por Eso Te Amo.” Albums including “Obsesion” and “Me Enamore De Un Angel” were nominated for best Tejano and best norteño album, respectively, at later Grammy ceremonies. The musicians “harmonize beautifully” and the music is “fun and happy,” said Maggie Kuykendall, media contact for the exhibit.

Light refreshments will be served at the opening. The exhibit, which is curated by Ann Harithas, the museum’s founder and executive director, will be on display through Oct. 20.

“Mainly, we consider lowriders a separate art form,” Roberts said. “Lowriders, hotrods – there are lots of approaches to modifying cars, and lowriders transcend a lot of other forms.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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