My work explores the politics of identity, the state of double consciousness, and the outlook of “the other.” I address issues of colonization, migration, history, cultural appropriation, and futurism. I create hybrid portraits that represent my anxieties of living in a constant state of double consciousness where I feel like my identity is divided into parts. The challenge of being bicultural and bilingual is that I live concurrently in two different worlds. I adapt to both worlds, but adapting involves losing some part of myself in order to grow. I embrace these two worlds in my art, melding visual and cultural references from both to produce artwork with a magical realism twist.
Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Chicago, IL, La Jaula de Oro / The Golden Cage Serigraph
In this print titled La jaula de oro I am depicting the complexity of our current immigration system that has been broken for decades. Inspired by Los Tigres del Norte’s song I chose to create this golden fence made up of snakes that also hints to the anatomy of the American flag. This is the same fence U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses to cage thousands of unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum in the USA. Just picture this, today in “the most powerful country of the world” child migrants are literally caged in the middle of a pandemic with a series of human rights violations happening to them all at once. The dream for our child migrants has long been deferred.
The black color on the print represents the millions of people that live and work in the USA under the shadows, many of them essential workers during this pandemic. The white color on the print represents the hope that is crucial for survival in the USA. The snakes represent the dangers many of the South American brothers and sisters have experienced in their journey to the USA. And just when they think they have made it to the promised land the snakes become the American nightmare. The gold color represents some migrants who after overcoming all those struggles and obstacles many have become economically and socially successful. At the end, even with a fashy golden cage—it is still a cage.