Map of Mexico, 2011, Oil-on-canvas, 30" x 24" (Property of the artist).
Below, Mexican master Roberto Márquez provides a profound and illuminating statement, revealing key socio-cultural ideas and iconological insights surging from his spectacular image "Map of Mexico:"
"When I moved from Mexico to this country several years ago, I settled in the Phoenix metropolitan area where I lived for five years. Back then I encountered a very friendly and supportive environment.
With a shared history (and geography) I felt that Mexico was very much part of the cultural landscape of the city in the same way it still is today. But over the past decade as we know, difficult events on both sides of the border have reshaped the perception that Mexico and the United States have of each other, awakening demons and anxieties that we thought were buried for good, those of bigotry, distrust and resentment.
Even though Arizona was removed from the Mexican map after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, paradoxically there are surely more Mexicans there now than there were when it was part of Mexico. The human impulse has prevailed over the political one. But now individuals feel their dignity threatened simply by their own appearance.
Much has been said about the recent Arizona legislations regarding immigration. I hope that on this side of the border all ironies of history are remembered as well as how inexorably the two cultures are linked and particularly, that the benefit has been mutual. The shared history should shape a shared future.
Though Mexicans understand well and accept the vicissitudes of living as a minority in a foreign country, for their psyche those territories long amputated from their geography still feel very much there, moving with their impulse, their labor, their imagination, like phantom limbs."
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