From borderlands of Brownsville and Tucson, Chicanx artist explores themes of barriers, belonging
Artist Alejandro Macias was born, raised and lived for more than three decades in Brownsville, Texas, communicating the borderlands experience through visual art as a second-generation Mexican American.
In 2019, he moved hundreds of miles west to the borderlands city, Tucson, in Arizona, to continue working on his art and to teach at The University of Arizona in the School of Art. His work, which in part is inspired by Chicanx activist work, draws on artists who transformed the human figure, artistically. His art reflects his and others’ lived experience, striving to find a sense of belonging in the borderlands region. His work also reflects social-political climates of the times.
Macias’ paintings focus on identity, the Mexican American experience within U.S. society, migration, his own family history and the many other families struggling and who have witnessed barriers in the borderlands. He uses images of himself in some work as representative of others with visuals often related to physical and metaphorical barriers in the Mexico-U.S. borderland region, which embodies two nations, two cultures with different identities that often merge together.