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"¿Rendirme yo? ¡Que se rinda su abuela, carajo!"
Colonel Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo

 


Artists’ intrinsically political work carries a laudable responsibility for framing and shaping our shared historical narrative. My work is a reaction to current events, a social commentary that is integral to the inclusion of important underrepresented perspectives. A natural observer of the working-class and migrant communities around the world, I am inspired by their resilience and hardships. Connecting the commonalities of human struggle which mirror the experiences my family endured migrating to the United States from Bolivia.

 

My work focuses on transcending borders by capturing humanity, rendering complex and sometimes conflicting emotions of individuals striving for better lives throughout the world. I strive to research and explore universal issues of migration and immigration with an eye toward expressing fleeting feelings, moments and states of being that endure the journey and remain in our psyche, molding our identity and impacting generations to come. 

Painting portraits of individuals from my travels and day-to-day encounters, I intentionally connect with the “others” of society. Through visualized investigations, I strive to depict their inner struggles as a form of artistic anthropology. Exposing the socio-economic hierarchies of our society which is further exaggerated by access to naturalization statuses, my work serves as a creative cultural expression of identity and search for national belonging. Observing and recording the purposefully overlooked members of society has facilitated my growth not only as an artist but as an immigrant striving to overcome my own history of trauma.

 

I arrived in this country illegally at age eight and spent most of my youth, undocumented and in constant fear of deportation. In search of the American dream, my parents broke the law and our family remained in the shadows for over a decade. My educated parents worked several “under the table” cleaning and labor jobs until we were eventually granted citizenship through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This legislation changed the trajectory of my life, not only was I able to attend college and pursue my dreams, I became a productive member of society, no longer hiding my identity but celebrating it. 
 

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