Tag Archives: Trump

The Hand That Feeds Us

I recently read Tracie McMillan’s riveting book, The American Way of Eating, which was published before Trump’s draconian immigration policies took effect.

In her undercover investigation, which took McMillan to work at a California farm, a Walmart, and an Applebees where she was drugged and raped, the author tried but inevitably failed to make ends meet on the money she earns.

The backbreaking work that McMillan describes while picking garlic, peaches, and grapes doesn’t even earn minimum wages, since workers are paid by the bushel or box rather than by the hour. No surprise, she was the only white face on the fields. The reality, McMillan discovers, is that only desperate undocumented workers will work for such miserable wages, wages which won’t even let them afford the food they pick.

Despite poverty, uncertain and often over-crowded unsanitary housing options, her fellow workers, mostly Spanish speaking Mexicans, are generous in advice and help. These are not the bad hombres and rapists that Trump describes.

I’ve been thinking about how I can disrupt the language of Us vs Them that dominates the anti-immigrant movement in this country. So I’ve started with a series of drawings that recall the style of Toile de Jouy, featuring images and statistics that point to the interdependence between our broken food systems and the undocumented farm-workers that feed us.

For example, Americans spend less of their annual income on food than anyone in the world. Partly because our farms stay afloat by hiring underpaid unprotected undocumented workers.

What will happen to our food budgets when ICE succeeds in rounding up all the undocumented workers? We already know from McMillan’s reportage, US workers won’t take such low wages. Who will work on our farms?

Don’t know about you, but I learned as a young child it’s better not to bite the hand that feeds you. If only our politicians had learned that lesson too.

Shadow Boxing Premiered at The High Wall!

I’m so honored to have been asked to show Shadowboxing just in time for the Seattle Art Fair. Woot!

The High Wall at Inscape is such an amazing program, and I couldn’t be more excited to have my animation paired with Amir Sheikh’s new film.

The outdoor projections have been visible after dark since August 1st, and tomorrow we will have a sunset reception with the two films, plus music, and a cash bar. There’s a suggested donation of $10 to raise funds for Shunpike’s ACES: Artists of Color Symposium, which is the absolute most amazing program. It was completely transformational for the community to be able to come together and stand witness to each other’s talents and stories. I have never experienced anything quite like it. So if you can support ACES, please do.

That said, you can get in for free with the code “High Wall 2019” is the $10 sets you back too much, because we all want for these programs to be accessible to everyone. oxox

For those of you who can’t come, here is a copy of the print interview that will be available at the reception. I get preachy, but you know, I’m not anything if not earnest and passionate. I discuss Trump’s election, deracination, what it means to be a LatinX in the PNW, and give insights to my process and animation set up.