Magueyes [Magueys], from The New Immigration
56 x 37.9 cm (22 1/16 x 14 15/16 in.)
(Villahermosa, Mexico, 1948 - )
Medium and Support:
Aquatint with etching and roulette
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Gilberto Cárdenas, 2017
In 1988, Sister Karen Boccalero and Gilberto Cárdenas worked together to organize this portfolio entitled "The New Immigration" ["La nueva inmigración"], of ten etchings by five artists. The prints, sponsored by Self Help Graphics and co-published by Galería Sin Fronteras, were produced at Taller Romero in Mexico City by printer Renato Esquivel Romero. According to Cárdenas, this series pays “homage to the perseverance and dignity of the new Latino immigrants as they struggle with the transition into American society.” He has also said that they are a reminder of “the role that immigration plays in enriching the economic vitality of our society and the contributions that the immigrants and their children will have in making American society a better community for tomorrow—a community ‘sin fronteras.’” Each of the five selected artists presents a distinctive take on politics, immigration, and the border.
Alejandro Romero used dark, dense imagery to evoke the terror of violence enacted by the U.S. Border Patrol and detention centers. His layered style suggests a haunting vision of ghostly bodies floating past a maguey or agave plant at the center of each of his compositions.