Zero Tolerance series was inspired by incidents that took place after Trump administration’s cruel “zero tolerance” immigration policy and the appalling images of insufferable conditions and treatment of migrant individuals caught on news media. I focused on images from the US media sources that exposed the violence of migrants’ dehumanization, vulnerability, fear, loss, and criminalization the paintings document the embodiment of state-authorized brutality and erasures of personhood.
A horrific incident took place in San Antonio TX July 23, 2017 in the parking lot of a Walmart. An estimated 39 undocumented individuals were found in severe conditions inside a tractor trailer without water and air conditioning in 100 degree plus temperature, resulting in 10 deaths by heat stroke.Their names of the deceased were never released and remained nameless to the public.
For this series I asked my family to imagine themselves in the place of the migrants and to empathize and act out moments that other Latinx families have experienced while crossing the US/Mexico border. This process mirrors the horror of identification that we experienced while seeing images of families that look like our own suffer unimaginable hardship. Family and immigration enforcement are personal to many of us with migrant roots and these paintings offer an ethnographic and embodied representation of the of the experience of identification.
We Need Borders, 2018 48x 48 in Acrylic on canvas with decorative ribbon
Illegal Entry , 2018 48x 48 in Acrylic on canvas with decorative ribbon