Artist JR Installs New Piece on U.S.-Mexico Border
French visual artist JR, known for his commentary on social issues through large-scale photographs, has installed a new, provocative piece of art in Tecate, Mexico, a U.S.-Mexico border town.
The work shows “Kikito,” a young Mexican boy, peeking over the Mexican side of the wall and visible from the American side.
Meet Kikito, he turned 1 year old last April. The piece is visible close to the Tecate border for a month pic.twitter.com/xfDBzQ1DYV
— JR (@JRart) September 7, 2017
According to Marc Azoulay, who runs JR’s New York studio, “Kikito” is actually the nickname of a 1-year-old Mexican boy named David Enrique who lives in a house by the border in Tecate.
The piece has been installed during a particularly fraught time for U.S.-Mexico relations, as the Trump administration repeatedly threatens undocumented immigrants and works to build a wall between the countries. The image of the small boy is particularly poignant given the administration’s decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which could lead to the expulsion of 800,000 “Dreamers”—undocumented immigrants brought as young children to the U.S. from Mexico by their parents.
Although JR has not made any major statement about the installation, the youthful innocence of “Kikito” as he peers into American territory represents the optimism and hope felt by many immigrants and, ultimately, their children.
JR, Azoulay and Los Angeles photographer Rick Rose posted video and photographs of the installation process on social media:
Art project now at the US/MEXICAN border ? pic.twitter.com/fQSspJ9cRc
— JR (@JRart) September 5, 2017