2020 Mi Hamburguesa American Dirt
This year, to say the least has been a challenging one for many people and for many different reasons. I struggled as an artist with the inspiration and motivation to create anything. It's been by far, the year that I created the least paintings. What I did find very comforting through this time was reading books. I read a novel by Jeanine Cummins, called "American Dirt". It's about the horrific and treacherous journey a mother and young son take from southern Mexico up North to the United States via "la bestia" the train that travels from south to north. It's a desperate way for many immigrants to get to the USA to try and escape the corruption and danger from their country for the hopes and possibilities of a better life in the US. This book made me cry and also to count our many blessings that we have in this country. The book really put life into perspective and made our complaints like, not being able to buy toilet paper or go out to eat because of covid, seem so insignificant! There was a passage in the book that stood out to me and was the inspiration for this painting. It said this, as Mom and young son, Luca were traveling dangerously on top of the moving train: " " See you in el norte, manito," one of them says to Luca. "Look me up when you get to Iowa. We can have a hamburguesa together." He gives Luca a high-five, and then turns to follow his brother across the top of the train. "
With all the dangers and uncertainty of their destination, Mom and son had to face, it was this image of just being able to be safe across the border and enjoy a hamburger, something we might take for granted, that seemed like paradise. This is what inspired me to create, 'Mi Hamburguesa". In the bottom right corner, I added a train traveling through the night to represent 'La Bestia"
Needless to say, I highly recommend this novel as an eye opening tale of what immigrants have to risk to get to the USA in hopes of just a normal, safe and better life. As I was creating this piece, I also heard my Dad's voice from heaven, "It's about time you create a hamburger painting!!". Hamburgers were his favorite food, as was mine, and we took turns calling each other "Wimpy" the character who only ate hamburgers from Popeye haha! Oh and the LA Dodgers happened to win the world series after I created this, so perfect! Thank you for reading about the inspiration behind the painting, and now after all this writing, I'm craving a hamburger! We have a very good life. Blessings to you all!