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Baroque On The Border: Depicting The Violence Along The Border

Right across our border is one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

The surging violence along Mexico’s border with the United States is getting increasing attention from artists.

One painter is bringing the violence to life through his brush strokes and art style.

His goal is to bring attention to the gruesome reality of life along the border.

“It’s an image that could very well easily could have happened in Juarez,” explained Rigoberto Gonzalez about hit artwork.

He said the violence plaguing border towns is hard to ignore.

His inspiration comes from the gruesome images in newspapers, videos and what he has witnessed.

“I remember being in Juarez and just really being overwhelmed with all this visual stimulus that is there,” said Gonzalez.

He said he art depicts everyday life besieged by brutality, kidnappings, beheadings and executions.

Gonzalez amplifies the anger, fear and despair through 17th century Baroque style art.

“It has a very gritty, very real quality to it. In addition to that, it uses very dramatic lighting. Very strong shadows, very bright highlights. By doing this the figures, the painting seems to come out of the canvas,” Gonzalez said.

“Some of our patrons have a difficult time dealing with the content of the exhibit. But we feel that it’s very important that people realize what’s going on along the border and what a tragedy it truly is,” said Lisa Pugh, manager at the Las Cruces Museum of Art.

She said she hopes the paintings open a dialog.

“Sometimes we live in a state of denial about what’s going on. And it’s time for people to open their eyes and really look at the faces and see what’s happening,” Pugh explained.

Gonzalez said he hopes his art evokes the desire for peace and a return to normalcy.

“Just being able to visit Mexico and feel relaxed and not have to worry, I think that is the ultimate goal, just to be able to enjoy life as it once was,” he said.

‘Baroque on the Border’ will be at the Las Cruces Museum of Art through Aug. 21.

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