Last year, the German photographer Stefan Falke photographed the Mexican American photographer Imanol Miranda for his series La Frontera, which catalogues artists living along the US-Mexico border. In the image, 27-year-old Miranda stands before an enormous prickly pear cactus in his parents’ front yard in McAllen, Texas. He holds one of his own photographs, of a family praying in a small Catholic chapel — a glimpse of life in the Rio Grande Valley, where he lives.
As the picture reveals, Miranda is the one most often behind the camera. For the past few years, he’s been documenting the Mexican American community in the southern United States. Seen together, his photographs are a mosaic of blue collar workers, artists, musicians, war veterans, folk healers and even custom car collectors. But one of Miranda’s most recognizable subjects is the family-run restaurant or food stand, which the photographer sees as a microcosm of the Mexican American experience. He’s now raising funds on Kickstarter to show his photographs of these businesses at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin.
For Miranda, taquerias and panaderias represent the aspirations of many poor Mexican immigrants — what they do after crossing the border in pursuit of a better life. He told Hyperallergic that he hopes these images fill an absence in the media’s immigration coverage, which often reduces the story to the politicized issues of border security and citizenship status. “I want the conversation to also be about how Mexicans contribute to one of the country’s most cherished ideals: the American dream,” Miranda said.
Bianca Sandova is one of the restaurant owners who Miranda photographed; she and her husband started E&B Elotes in McAllen. As a result of the family’s hard work, what started as a simple roadside stand serving up roasted corn from a borrowed grill evolved into a registered business with two busy locations. Another is Carlos Santillana, who opened the snack bar Yum Yum after working in a bakery for a few years. “[Carlos] told me that the American dream, for him, means working hard and being consistent at it.”
Miranda’s own family owned a small grocery store that served tortas (sandwiches) in Acapulco, where he grew up. As an 11-year-old, he would deliver the sandwiches to customers, and he remembers getting excited when his parents made 100 pesos (roughly $7) in a day. But after years of struggling financially, they sold all they owned and moved to the US when Miranda was 13. “We all entered with visas and switched to various types for several years, always paying attention to maintaining a proper immigration status,” he said. “It took me a total of 13 years to achieve that milestone. After that happened [earlier this year], I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
The photographer said that financial instability is the biggest obstacle faced by the immigrants he photographs, though it’s also what drives them to the US in the first place. As he wrote on his Kickstarter page, “My parents made the decision based on the notion that we would find a better life.”
Works by the Abeyta family of artists encourage thinking beyond activism and legislation as a means for political progress.
Despite faithfully recreating the story of the beloved comic book series, the TV show lacks the verve of the original.
The Brooklyn organization is now accepting new project inquiries for its fee-based fabrication services in printmaking, ceramics, and large-scale public art.
A video showing insects crawling inside a framed photograph by artists Bernd and Hilla Becher caused uproar, and disgust, online.
Actor Al Pacino is co-producing the upcoming movie about the tortured Italian artist.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Women at War exposes the struggles that women of Eastern Europe have been undergoing for the last 60 years, in addition to the annihilation of Ukrainian heritage.
Major publishing houses, and some authors, accuse the open access platform of “piracy” and copyright infringement.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The Roman-era burial ground is located in Anazarbus (modern Anavarza) in the country’s southern Adana province.
Those with a Didion-shaped hole in their hearts can also bid for portraits of the author, her books, and other personal items.
The union seeks a minimum wage of $20 by the end of 2024; the museum offered only $16.