The controversy regarding the boarder wall between the United States and Mexico has been at the forefront of political conversation for the past several years. Artist Ana Teresa Fernandez took it upon herself to make a political statement of her own regarding the boarder dispute.

In 2011, she started her project along the border wall and continued several years later expanding upon this project. She pushed the boundaries of what would be considered vandalism when she painted the bars of the border wall in San Diego, California a light blue that blended in with the sky. When looking at the wall from a distance the light blues painted on the bars would allow them to blend in with the background showing a uniform horizon if the border wall was not in place.

Ana Teresa Fernandez is an immigrant to the United States herself, as she crossed the same border when from Mexico when she was a child. She began this project to bring awareness to the struggles of undocumented people and immigration along the US-Mexico border as a whole. Throughout the years following her initial painting of the border wall in 2011, she has done two more installments of this series along different parts of the border. She titled this project “Erasing the Border” which speaks for itself on her purpose of this project.

Not only was she making a statement regarding the political controversy of the border wall, but she was making a statement regarding women and the expectation of them. She painted the bars of the border wall in high heels and a short black cocktail dress. This expression of the female body conveying a political message about the border spoke volumes to the perception of women who cross the US-Mexico border.

This bold artist statement in the political world brought up questions of the legality of the matter. While Ana Teresa Fernandez was working to make a statement about a world without the border wall, this act itself would be considered vandalization and graffiti. In a TED talk that was focused on this piece of artwork, she explains that she received hateful messages, some with violence, for this work when the only ‘weapon’ she held was a paint brush. This aspect of fear was shown when people saw the landscape that could unfold if the wall were to come down which was shown with a few layers of blue paint.

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Mia Braden

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