Gouache on Riverpoint Paper
4" x 5.5"
Framed under UV Protecting Plexi-glas in
an artist made 8" x 10" Poplar Wood Frame
Cactus is an original gouache painting that developed through internal thoughts of my assocations to the US-Mexico border. The majority of my father's family is based in a Mexican city just south of Brownsville, Texas. I've only visited there once when I was a young boy still figuring out the many unspoken rules of society and fitting in. As I got older I quickly learned the negative assocations to this particular region of the world and nation. Being the son of a Mexican immigrant has never been a simple part of my identity to me. Growing up from the age of four with my mother's family left me without a familiarity to my Mexican roots. Outside of my private experiences, the world soon labeled me as a foreigner or "other". In high school I started seeing imagery, media, stories of Americans who traveled to Mexico to party on Spring Break and other vacations. I began adding to my definitions of the US-Mexico border. Today this line is hypercharged with meaning and stereotype I find myself attempting to pre-navigate as I walk around midwestern towns. "Will people assume I'm not a citizen?" This a question that comes to mind now and again. In college my mom took my siblings and I on a family vacation to Cancun. We swam in the turqouise waters and drank umbrella drinks like many other American tourists. There I wondered "Will anyone think I'm a citizen of Mexico or the United States?" Its difficult to know what to feel when I think about the state of the border and the ties I have to it. I feel a sense of guilt knowing the exploitation of labor that occurs there and the dangers travelers are facing for opportunity and safety. I feel a tremendous amount of privelege being a visitor who has freely passed that line.
This painting ships ready-to-hang with plastic wrapping in a cardboard box.