These portraits are from my MFA Thesis Show in June of 2013. The series is entitled "Lo Que No Se Puede Ver" meaning that which cannot be seen. It is both a comment and critique on the practice of racial profiling mandated by controversial legislation such as Arizona's State Senate Bill 1070, which requires local law enforcement agencies to aid in immigration enforcement by requesting documentation papers based on "reasonable suspicion" during any "lawful contact" with a police officer. Laws such as this have led to an increased criminalization of the immigrant who has come to the United States from Mexico and other South American countries regardless of their particular situation.
These 10 portraits are paintings of friends and family, both young and old, rich and poor, documented and undocumented immigrants, naturalized and birthright citizens, all deserving of basic human rights and dignity. You cannot merely say let's deport all 12 million or so of the undocumented immigrants who are living and working in the US today. That is not a solution. You cannot terrorize an entire segment of society and treat them as second-class citizens. My intention with this series is to put a face to the "problem" of immigration. To highlight contributions made by immigrants whether it be as artists, engineers, doctors, or merely responsible taxpaying mothers and fathers of 4.
Each portrait is hung at the actual height of the model, resembling a police line up in order to convey the perceived criminalization by exterior forces. I chose to use vibrant colors in each portrait to depict the life and soul of each of my models.