Well, I finished my tattooed baby today, at long last!
This image had been burning a hole in my head ever since I began following the news of Central American children risking everything to escape gang violence in their home communities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, taking dangerous journeys north to the States where too many have been held in challenging circumstances while waiting for their cases to be heard, 80,000 unaccompanied minors from October 2013 – July 2015, according to Azam Ahmed writing for the New York Times last October!
I wanted to explore the impossible situation of the innocent living in the midst of this kind of violence, being groomed to be the next battlefield should nothing change. I hoped the imagery, drawn from tattoos, would morph into an inviting but nightmarish scenario that would take on a life of it’s own.
I’d like to pursue two more in this series, a little boy, El Niño and a baby seen from the back, El Ángel, hopefully with each one I can achieve a higher level of expression.
It’s breathtaking, and what a contrast to your other work. And yet of course, I can see your signature style throughout this, just further example of your skill and diversity, in applying this same vision and work with lines and colour and images, to capture and explore such a disturbing scene. Really so impressive, this weave of danger, threat and innocence.
As disturbing as it is, there also lurks in this a sense of vitality and possibility poised on the edge, or perhaps better, pedestal, where it may topple off or perhaps rise and transform — and society, we, will determine whether the wings it grows are those of an angel…or a demon…