Oil Painting March 11, 2023

Photo of a mixed media painting.

The Dream is Not For You

In the chaos of headlines and political fervor, amidst the clatter of debates and accusations, there exists a silent testament to innocence lost. “The Dream Is Not For You” stands as a poignant reminder, captured in mixed media, of a chapter in history we dare not forget.

At its heart is a young migrant girl, her fragile form enveloped in a dress fashioned from the very echoes of injustice. Newspaper clippings, stark reminders of the tumult at the US-Mexico border, drape around her like a cloak of despair. Each headline, each story, etches itself into her being, bearing witness to a childhood interrupted by the harsh realities of our world.

In her hands, she cradles a wilting flower—a fragile metaphor for hope dimmed by the harsh winds of adversity. Its petals, like promises unkept, drift softly to the ground, mirroring the shattered dreams of countless children caught in the crossfire of policy and prejudice.

The oil painting that portrays her delicate features is marred, deliberately marked by the weight of sorrow etched upon her young face. Eyes that should sparkle with wonder now reflect the shadows of uncertainty, lips that should curve with laughter now whisper tales of hardship.

Surrounding her are fragments of documents, printouts of news and magazine clippings that chronicle the grim tapestry of immigration woes, poverty, and inequality. These are not just artistic embellishments; they are the raw materials of truth, woven together to form a narrative that demands our attention, our empathy, and our action.

“The Dream Is Not For You” transcends mere artistry; it is a call to conscience, a plea for remembrance. It compels us to confront our complicity in the narratives that define our times, to acknowledge the children who bear the burdens of our collective failures.

In this painting, innocence meets injustice, vulnerability confronts adversity. Yet, amidst the stark portrayal of hardship, there lingers a glimmer of resilience—a reminder that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit endures, seeking solace and striving for a future where dreams are not forsaken.

As we gaze upon this artwork, let us not look away from the uncomfortable truths it unveils. Let us instead find the courage to confront our shared humanity, to extend compassion to those whose stories are woven into its fabric, and to work towards a world where every child’s dream is cherished and nurtured.

Medium: Mixed Media – Oil paint and newsprint on canvas

Dimension: 38″ x 48″

Year Completed: 2018

Donated to Sacramento State Center on Race, Immigration & Social Justice


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