Hoy Marchamos Mañana... ¿Votamos?, 2011. Oil on Canvas, 16" x 20" (Collection of the artist).
Efren Ave's Hoy Marchamos Mañana... ¿Votamos? is a painting about recent "immigration-related" marches that are taking place all over the country. Marches full of vibrant color and creativity; but, with very little impact on current US society. In the image, Ave exposes the reality of one such march and its inevitable lack of clear-cut results or accomplishments. According to Ave, "These marches have not had an impact on the US mainstream, and importantly, not a single significant US-politician has paid attention to any marches. Yet, every week, a new march manifests! This is why there are no faces in the image, only the marchers' feet are indicated in the painting." The USA's anti-immigrant establishment shares this same opinion, pronouncing that, "Those Latino illegals are an invisible race!!" For Ave, such remarks are real given that neither the media nor politicians turn-up to see the protesters or listen to their demands. In these marches, people have the opportunity to express what they feel and to demand what they want, as is clearly emphasized by the title: Hoy Marchamos Mañana ¿Votamos? But, notably, Ave has the word "votamos"/"we vote" encased with Spanish question-marks because it is not clear what demands are being requested or granted, nor precisely what these recent marches will do to benefit the Latino demonstrators? That's why, in the image, despite its bright colors, the lack of hope is palpable; especially with all the new laws (in several states) that are always against illegal immigrants. Hence, in a dramatic-touch, it's very probable that tomorrow America's Latino population will march again, raising their idealistic signs to resume their unrelenting march for justice and human-rights.
This painting is a part of a major body-of-work consisting of over 120 paintings wherein Ave tells the story about what exactly occurs to people that actually are illegal immigrants in the USA, while simultaneously trying to be part of this nation. His series of paintings are arranged into four table board-games that he call Mazes. These games have the intention of educating "people-in-power" about how difficult and risky it is to come to Unites States of America - with only the desire to attain "The American Dream" and consequently how extremely hard it is (especially today) to be part of this great nation after arriving!
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