Detail (above left and right) of Detencion fronteriza
Detención fronteriza. 2019
*In the Twilight Zone of Sub-Humanity
The medium for this series of work is primarily milk paint and chalk paint with some pastel and watercolor. The texture and hues of the milk paint seem to resonate symbolically with the tone of the times, what feels to be the 'twilight of sub humanity,' a downward spiral into hell on earth, the extent of the violence accelerating exponentially given the technology of our weapons of war, destruction and what some believe to be self-defense. We are moving into darker and darker days, and I do not believe it has only to do with the power of media to expose the horrors of man's inhumanity to man. This medium is one that continues to intrigue me as an artist, at the same time, it is poignant that some of our earliest ancestors used this same formula for their cave paintings many thousands of years ago. The irony is that we seem to be digressing as a species, far beyond that of our oldest ancestors who must have understood the value of community or we would not be here today.
Author and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison warned that "Language can never ‘pin down’ slavery, genocide, war. Nor should it yearn for the arrogance to be able to do so . . its force, its felicity is in its reach toward the ineffable.” Yet it seems, it is imperative that we continue to strive to find a way to express ourselves, to understand, or to purge ourselves of the intensity of our thoughts and feelings. It is our humanity that preserves; searching for a way to begin the conversation in spite of the limits of verbal dialogue, that falls short only because we have become numb to it. When it comes to the question of the hell that fellow human beings are bearing, a hell we are either supporting, condoning, or failing to challenge - the inhumane treatment of victims of unspeakable violence, begging those who could help, for help, only to be met with more violence – the answer falls short of the ideals of humanity, set forth with the hope of our founding mothers and fathers. This series is my attempt to express what cannot easily be said, because we have strayed so far as a nation, to call, through abstract forms what so many cannot otherwise hear or see.
The title, Dios todo lomira, God sees everything, is taken from a photo in the New York Times of a small boy, living in poverty in Mexico, on the wall of his bedroom, were written these words. His hope and the faith in a better world, inspired me to enter into this series.