Beyond the Lines: Living in the Shadow of a Redrawn Border.
This artwork depicts a complex and meaningful narrative. The protagonist, "new people," with three eyes and hair made from dried corn husks, symbolizes a generation that experienced a voluntary crossing of borders. New people wears a T-shirt with the United States flag, expressing a desire to be seen. He stands in a paper boat constructed from news clippings, emphasizing the reference to "President Wilson asking Congress for power to invade Mexico. April 20, 1914. Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, PA), Image 1. Chronicling America.
In the foreground, images of cacti symbolizing Mexico are presented. In the background, a city with a fallen bishop piece symbolizes the generations before the annexation of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming to the United States. The painting explores the identity of those born before this change, some feeling completely American, while others grapple with dual worlds, reflecting the complexity of Chicano identity.
Furthermore, the artwork criticizes American education by highlighting the invasion of Mexico and debunking the notion that Mexico sold the territories. It underscores the reality of war and indemnification, providing a critical perspective on how history is taught in schools.
The title, "Beyond the Lines: Living in the Shadow of a Redrawn Border," reinforces the depth of the artwork, alluding to fourth-generation individuals who lived through the transformation of their homes when the border was redrawn. This title captures the complexity of identity and rootedness, especially in response to the challenging question of "Go Home," as these individuals have always been in their city, their home.