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L.A./T.J.

1987
66.5 x 50.7 cm (26 3/16 x 19 15/16 in.)

Patssi Valdéz (Los Angeles, California, 1951 - ) Primary

Medium and Support: Screenprint
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Gilberto Cárdenas, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.590

Boundaries blur and overlap in Patssi Valdez’s collaged depiction of Los Angeles (L.A.) and Tijuana (T.J.). Iconic images of L.A., including its city hall, palm trees, and highways occupy the top portion. A photographic portrait of the artist split in two hovers over the cityscape, visually bisecting her dual identities. Below, a chain-link fence separates the two cities. The barbed wire presses down on individuals that appear to wander aimlessly, presumably on the Tijuana side of the border. As a U.S.-born citizen with Mexican ancestry living in Los Angeles, Valdez is constantly being pulled towards the border—a liminal place where opportunity and divisiveness coexist.

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