Juan Carlos, 18″ x 40″, oil on linen

I don’t know how to talk about this painting without involving myself as artist in the discussion- I will just speak frankly.  I can’t recall ever seeing a painting with such conflict- heartache and hope, confidence and despair, dignity and shame.  This painting, somehow, went beyond me.  I don’t know where this painting will eventually go.  I just see a man, exhausted, a thousand thousand miles away from his wife and children, lonely, displaced.  It’s just not right, what is happening to these illegal immigrant workers.  I know that they are financially benefiting from their work here in the States… but somehow, it’s just not right, to see how they suffer.  Scores of them, standing against the walls in Riverhead, idle, waiting for the winter to pass.  They float outside of the system, they are vital to the system… they balance being visible enough to be hired for work, and invisible enough to be forgotten by everyone who looks at them.