Divided We Stand, 2011, 30" x 40," acrylic and paper on plywood panel. (Property of the artist).
In Josephine Barreiro's poignant mixed-media image entitled Divided We Stand; a central figure, reminiscent of Edvard Munch's The Scream (1893), sits, resting with "its" head downward and propped dramatically on mournful arms. In the powerful image, Barreiro alludes to Vincent Van Gogh's duende-filled ink-and-pencil drawing of Sorrow (1882). By means of its steadfast and absolute focus on feeling(s), Barreiro's Divided We Stand is consistent with Van Gogh's image, as well as articulating Munchesque expressive pathos-laden qualities, which are full of profound and sublime emotion(s), as well as lucid sentiments that comprehensively reveal tragic isolation, unbounded despair, and heartbreaking sorrow.
The flag in the background is upside down -- representing distress and surrender. Barreiro's painting is about being in this country (the USA) and being part of this big melting-pot of different people; different cultures, and languages. As a citizen, Barreiro believes, "That the USA should not create divisions between people; because, in fact, as Americans we are one people, one race, 'The human race!'" Her image captures the effects on human beings confronting rejection, segregation, borders and boundaries. The title of her work is "Divided We Stand" questions current controversial Anti-Latino issues that have arisen in various states within the USA; particularly surrounding immigration in the early 21st Century, especially recent anti-Hispanic legislation that has manifested in Arizona since 2009.
For more information on Josephine Barreiro's poignant and duende-filled imagery