oil on panel
48" x 34"
This painting is done in the ex voto style commonly used in Mexico to commemorate a miracle that took place. These ex votos include text which tells the stories of what occurred and give praise to the saint believed to be responsible for the miracle. This piece is different in that no miracle occurred but rather its tells a story of how an individual lost his life. The text at the bottom of the painting translates as: "I am someone that you never met, I did not live but rather I survived. I crossed the river in hopes of finding work and respect. They found my bones 17 miles from the U.S./Mexican border. I still have not been identified."
Water jugs like the one in the hands of our subject are often left along the border to aide crossers on their long desert journey in which death and dehydration is not uncommon. He wears a backpack and Yankees hat. Certainly the backpack carries the only belongings he is able to take with him and the hat perhaps a hope for a new life in a new place. He rides across the river that divides Mexico from the United States upon the coyote. Which is symbolic of the nickname given to those whose occupation it is to help migrants cross illegally. In the sky you can see the Virgin of Guadalupe dressed in american flag themed attire and in Statue of Liberty pose watching over our subject and providing him with his final hope.