The Horizon,

Luis Valderas

Mixed media | Técnica mixta
30.4 x 182.8 x 5 cm (12 x 72 x 2 in) each
Collection of the artist | Colección del artista
Photo courtesy of Alex Garcia | Imagen cortesía de Alex Garcia

Artist’s Statement

This piece is part of a series where I addressed the immigrant experience around issues of the fear that can be induced by xenophobia. It is also my interpretation of the view from my space capsule during re-entry, and how that idea relates to crossing the Rio Grande River when re-entering the United States... 

From space, the land of my ancestors becomes a futurist metaphor in an aerial map view from space of the frontera. My family has had a generational relationship with this border—southern or northern—depending on which generation and who was in political power. In my case, el norte is home.

I used the dashes and points, used on maps, to represent cities along the frontera that stretches across the horizon. I use fingerprints to allude to the masses approaching the border, which is cobbled with calaveras in remembrance of those that came before. 

Together, these icons harken to the zelophobia (intense fear of jealousy) and propaganda warning of the impending onslaught of masses of immigrants into the United States. From a distance this can be seen as a landscape, but on closer examination the humanity, reaching for freedom, is revealed with all the fingers reaching up to the sky.