Ruth Leonela Buentello's "Yo Tengo Nombre" evokes the horrors immigrants face at the U.S.-Mexico border
Ruth Leonela Buentello's Zero Tolerance series was inspired by the Trump administration's inhumane immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border and the subsequent mistreatment of migrant individuals as revealed by media investigations. Six paintings from the series will be displayed at the University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities under the title Yo Tengo Nombre [I Have a Name] from September 19 to October 31.
While the San Antonio, Texas-based Buentello is an interdisciplinary artist, the works in Yo Tengo Nombre are all acrylic-on-canvas paintings. She asked members of her family to pose for the paintings, telling them to imagine what it would be like if they were in the position of these migrants. "Family and immigration enforcement are personal to many of us with migrant roots," Buentello said in a press release and she tried to capture the terror in her relatives' faces as they acted out moments that immigrants deal with every day.
Buentello, the 2019 Efroymson Emerging Artist in Residence, will talk with curator Amanda Krugliak during the opening reception on September 19, 5:30-7 pm.
Below is a sneak peek at the paintings.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
Ruth Leonela Buentello's "Yo Tengo Nombre" is at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer St., Ann Arbor, from September 19 to October 31. The gallery is free and open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.