Arbol de la Vida – John Deere Model #790
Rooted in the cultural experience of Mexican immigration, the artist creates work that both conceptually and formally explores the impact of border politics on Mexican craft-making traditions. For her work in the Park, the artist has translated the popular ceramic tradition of the Arbol de la Vida, which explains the origins of life. She replaces the usual tree form, creating in its place a life sized replica of a John Deere tractor made in clay. By casting the tractor delicately in clay, she juxtaposes a ubiquitous symbol of agricultural industry with a historic narrative popular in Mexican folk art, thus commenting on Mexican immigrant labor and its associations with American agriculture and the decline of craft-making traditions within Mexico.
Courtesy of Sara Meltzer Gallery