Border Identities


May 9 - June 28, 2008

Artists: Narcisco Argüelles, Luis Jimenez, and Joe Ramiro Garcia

Narciso Arguelles' installation Border Identities, which was exhibited at [Artspace] at Untitled, explored unity and division, both in relation to physical and psychological borders. Whether with racial profiling or stereotyping or the physical separation between two countries, Border Identities engaged visitors with these issues by involving them through art.

Selected works by Luis Jiménez and Joe Ramiro Garcia were shown in the side galleries of [Artspace] during Argüelles' installation.

"This exhibition features three Chicano artists who have developed their cultural identities and issues into art. 

Narciso Argüelles' installation takes a satirical view of the U.S. immigration and border crisis. Art should be a mirror of social conscience, whether or not we agree with an issue. Argüelles brings to light his viewpoint on borders and allows us to approach sensitive issues through art. Often, words devolve into arguments when discussing immigration, especially with the recent bill passed in Oklahoma. Through art, we can approach these issues visually and allow our interactions with Argüelles' installation to become a dialogue on the borders that divide and impact all of our lives.

The late Luis Jiménez also addresses issues of Chicano culture, including immigration in "Tan Lejos de Dios; Tan Cercas de los Estados Unidos" (2001). His works include iconic images of Chicano culture and, despite the sometimes unsettling subject manner, the color and style of his work keeps it accessible. 

Joe Ramiro Garcia's paintings include familiar characters like Felix the Cat and the Snuggle Bear mixed in with guns and alcohol. Although his art has a dark undertone, the playfulness of it helps us to explore those more difficult issues."

- John Seward