Muneefist Destiny,

Alfred J. Quiroz

Mixed media on mahogany panel | Técnica mixta sobre panel de caoba
274.3 x 396.2 cm (108 x 156 in)
Collection of the artist | Colección del artista
Photo courtesy of the artist | Imagen cortesía del artista

Artist’s Statement

The outline of the piece is the map of what was once Mexico. President Polk initiated the War with Mexico by moving the U.S. Border south from the Rio Nueces to the now Rio Grande without informing Mexico... 

This caused an altercation, and the War to Take Away the Land began. Sam Houston (Texas President and General) proclaimed that all non-whites in the US at that time should be killed. It was a common thought that these pioneers who were given the land by Mexico in the first place felt they were the “chosen people” and therefore privileged. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo designated that the Mexican landowners, “Californios,” would keep their land. When gold was discovered in 1849, the state of California revoked the Treaty claiming it did not have to recognize international treaties and hence the landowners lost their property.

There was a point in that period when there was the discussion of what to do with all the Mexicans living in the Southwest. The idea of Mexican reservations was considered like the Native American reservations of today. In Muneefist Destiny, I use many of the jingoistic slogans of that period.