En el Campo (In the Field)
Medium:Acrylic on Canvas
Painting on canvas of a man bending over towards the viewer. He wears blue pants, a blue striped shirt and a hat with an eagle on it. Behind the person are fields with small green rows and an orange sunset against a bright blue sky.
Javier Salazar Rojas, known by his artist name Deported Artist, was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and brought to Oakland, California as a baby. He was raised in East Oakland, too young to understand that he didn't have papers. At twenty-four, Salazar was incarcerated for eleven years. During this time, he educated himself and learned to draw. Shortly after his release, he was deported.
Today, through all the hardships of his life, Salazar reflects on his struggles through his art. On this work he reflects, "Lo que callamos los deportados...Being deported comes with a stigma. They look at me and say 'He's a cholo y de seguro estuvo en la cárcel," and you know what, they are right, but they don't know the struggles I have lived through. I am not my past so please don't judge me, you don't know what I have been through. My past does not define who I am. I repaid my debt to society, with interest, keep the change. They avoid eye contact on the bus and rather stand up than sit next to me. The police target me for extortion because of my past and because I am vulnerable living out here by myself. I was deported to a country that I was born in but hardly know. I have been separated from my wife, my kids, my family and my support system..."