Los Extranjeros, 2006
Triptych, 55″ x 22″ ea., digital C-prints.
Looking through the muralist David Alfaro Siqueros’ photo archive (which has recently been made public), I became interested in a series of portraits, mostly of Siqueros himself and of his brother Jesus, that were used as studies for murals. It was their particular combination of the heroic and the sacrificial, the marxist and the catholic that I found most intriguing.
Invoking L’Etranger, Albert Camus’ novel of colonial alienation, Los Extranjeros depicts a different kind of “Mexican muralist,” one that is all-too-familiar to Los Angelenos. Seen here from the inside and depicted deliberately as heroic and sacrificial––whether gardening or painting houses, these workers are visibly “outsiders” as they maintain, or perhaps transubstantiate the corporeal facades of Angeleno homes.