Immigrant’s Dream

Immigrant’s Dream – America’s Response. Malaquias Montoya. Serigraph. 2004.

"Immigrant’s Dream – America’s Response." Malaquias Montoya. Serigraph. 2004.

Immigrant’s Dream – America’s Response is the title of a silkscreen poster by artist Malaquias Montoya. His print is just one of many posters dealing with the subject of immigration to be displayed at L.A.’s Avenue 50 Studio for the month of July.

The collection of prints from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) will be shown in the small “annex” exhibit room attached to the gallery’s main exhibit hall.

Malaquias Montoya is generally acknowledged to be one of the primary 1960s social activist printmakers from the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and known for his images of protest as well as for his focus on Chicano culture and history.

In his 2004 Immigrant’s Dream print, Montoya depicted a nameless, faceless migrant worker wrapped in a U.S. flag as though it were a body bag. A tag reading “undocumented” is attached to the bag, marking the unfortunate soul for deportation.  The immigrant’s dream of freedom and economic prosperity has fallen away to reveal a nightmare of repression and fear. Naturally, Montoya’s print was prescient given the present situation in Arizona.

Kathy Gallegos, director of Avenue 50 Studios, told me that while the gallery is booked for the year, she felt it important “to take a stand” over the issue of immigrant’s rights, so she arranged the poster exhibit with the CSPG. The poster show is in conjunction with the gallery’s main exhibit, Women on the Verge, a sculptural installation by artists Stephanie Mercado and Alpha Lubicz that questions notions of prosperity in America’s consumerist culture.

The Opening Night Reception takes place on Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with the exhibit closing at the end of July. Avenue 50 Studio is located at 131 North Avenue 50, in Highland Park, California. 90042. Phone: 323-258-1435. Web: www.avenue50studio.com

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