Cruzando El Rio Bravo [Border Crossing]
320.04 cm x 101.6 cm x 129.54 cm (126 in. x 40 in. x 51 in.)
(El Paso, Texas, 1940 - 2006, Hondo, New Mexico)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2013
Totem-like in stature, "Border Crossing" is a fiberglass sculpture by Texas native Luis Jiménez. In this monumental work, Jiménez depicts a Mexican man carrying a woman and infant on his back across the Rio Grande River—Jiménez was inspired by his father and grandmother’s illegal immigration to the United States in the early 1920s. "Border Crossing" is a tribute the artist’s grandfather and to the determination of the thousands of immigrants who have traveled across the southwestern border in search of a better life. As Jiménez later described: “I had wanted to make a piece that was dealing with the issue of the illegal alien….People talked about aliens as if they landed from outer space, as if they weren’t really people. I wanted to put a face on them: I wanted to humanize them.” Born in El Paso in 1940, Jiménez began studying art as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin and received his Bachelor’s degree in 1964.