Critical Mass Top 50, 2008

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Jeffrey Aaronson

www.jeffreyaaronson.com


Sister Maria, Palomas, Arizona 2007

Robert "Lil Dog" & Freckles, Campo,California 2007

Abandoned Housing Development, Calexico, CA 2007

Bit-O-Heaven Trailer Park, Donna, Texas 2008

Elotes La Rosita #2, San Elizario, Texas 2008

The Don Juan Motel, Calexico, California 2007

Lent Crucifix, Elsa, Texas 2008

Check Point Highway 11, Columbus, New Mexico 2008

Miguel's Malverde Ring, Mecca, California 2007

Border Patrol Holding Cell, Nogales, Arizona 2007
Jeffrey Aaronson

Borderland My Borderland is the territory existing directly north of the US – Mexican border; a region of low-rise towns and deserts dotted with saguaro cacti and aluminum trailers. I set out to deconstruct the notion of the border region as merely a barrier between countries. Post - September 11th, America’s consciousness has been underpinned by fear, a fear that leads to simple answers. In this work I identify small details, vignettes that challenge the viewer to imagine larger truths. Within the Borderland there are secondary boundaries, community divisions revealed in the saturated hues of Hispanic culture, contrasted by the muted tones of the Anglo world. Down south, the residue of history lies just beneath the surface. In places where the lingua franca is Spanish, enmity lingers over the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. The past is omnipresent in small towns where the frontier traditions of guns and bibles reluctantly coexist with the Feast of Guadalupe and Día de los Muertos. Nature informs my work as a rich backdrop against the intrusion of civilization. The colors of the earth are sandy brown, the skies deep blue and the plants a thirsty green. The desert is a wasteland of odd beauty. It is a place where almost everything man-made lies abandoned, and mines that were long ago drained of their precious minerals, remain as contaminated landscapes. In this environment, taquerias, dilapidated dwellings, RV parks and abandoned developments are all fighting to survive. The Borderland is the vernacular of the outsider, a visual folktale that mirrors a collective longing for home and cultural identity within a multicultural landscape.