Salon de los Ilegales,

Carlos Frésquez

Altered thrift-store landscapes | Paisajes adquiridos e intervenidos por el artista
Variable dimensions | Dimensiones variables
Private collection | Colección privada
Photo courtesy of the artist | Imagen cortesía del artista

Artist’s Statement

I see each of my thrift-store found landscapes as “ready-mades.”

I have painted a silhouetted running family—a readymade added from the yellow highway caution signs—into these found landscapes. These caution signs once appeared on the U.S. Mexico border, placed there to warn drivers to watch for Mexican families running or crossing the roads. The landscapes presented here display a range of the U.S. soils painted by unknown individuals, from the Midwest to the Southwest deserts. ... 

Having painted the running family into someone else’s landscape, I “illegally” place a representation of the Mexican into their Utopia. Therefore, by placing the running family into these landscapes, I am documenting the undocumented. It is a document of the current and constant influx of Mexican immigrants into the United States. The Mexican immigrant is in every state of the Union. These people are sometimes shadows and faceless in our society. The hanging of the artwork, in the academic “salon style”, elevates the status of the work to portraits and landscapes of the Mexican migrant family.