This body of work explores the current United States / Mexico border dilemma and the negative undercurrents within its portrayal in American media. I am inspired by the imagery that appears in newspapers such as the New York Times and various Internet news including NBC, CNN and Fox. When addressing immigration issues, the media’s imagery of undocumented people tends to dehumanize. Accumulation of clothing and trash is often used to symbolize undocumented people and has the potential to exacerbate tensions among the American public.
As a way to highlight the negative undertones in these images, the process of drawing and painting become key. Often, immigrants are not treated like individuals but rather generalized as a mass of people. In my work, vivid colors and the sketched line become mechanisms for emphasizing stereotypes. Since news images are perceived to be a factual documentation of an event, it is important to recognize the bias inherent in any media source, and I hope my work helps to reveal these prejudices.
Although I am dealing with the United States / Mexico border in this exhibition, I hope to open a dialogue about a universal analysis of borders, immigration and the social repercussions of treating undocumented people in an unjust manner.
Dead Crops, acrylic and charcoal on wood panel, 12" x 22", 2015