Immigration continues to be a pressing issue that has yet to see the light of resolve or justice. Immigrants’ rights supporters continue exploring innovative ways to keep the spotlight on the issue, not allowing it to be swept under the rug and ignored.
Metropolitan State College of Denver art student, Jesus “Jesse” Díaz, has found a unique way to comment on the treatment, social injustice and inequalities of the immigrant population in the U.S. through the use of his thesis. The art work was displayed in a MSCD art show held in late 2011.
Díaz recalls a couple of years ago he was downtown for one of the fair’s at Civic Center Park, and he noticed a paletero standing around with his cart, and another man – English speaking – was trying to tell the paletero that he needed to move, but was being very rude to the paletero. Díaz noticed that while all this was happening, several people were walking past, and no one even noticed what was going on, so he stepped in to communicate with the paletero.
“After I talked to him, he understood and went on his way, and he kind of got lost in the crowd. After that I started to notice more and more that this happened frequently – the way the immigrant community is expected to disappear or go on unnoticed,” explained Díaz on what inspired the creation of the works and in particular the piece entitled, “Paletero”.
Díaz created the piece, “Lupita”, which is honorably named after his mom, who worked in a resort cleaning rooms for over 20 years. The piece utilizes a city landscape, featuring the figure of a woman vacuuming. The piece exposes another reality of immigrant life in the shadows.
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