Marianna Olague


Devil’s Triangle, Oil on wood panel, 101,6 cm x 76,2 cm, 2019

My paintings are about the people and border town of El Paso, Texas, where I’m from. I create narrative portraits that depict the everyday lives of my family, friends and even myself. The environments in my paintings illustrate the circumstances of living next to the US-Mexico border in low-income Mexican American neighborhoods. My subjects are seen engaged in ordinary activities such as hanging laundry, sitting on the front porch or standing in the backyard, all while surrounded by the divisions of public housing and the border wall. The border or fronterais ever-present in my work and appears as a fence or rock wall that offers protection and privacy, but also delineates an inescapable socio-economic condition. While it may seem as if my figures are trapped, they subvert those boundaries by limiting the viewer’s access into their private space. Through body language, expression and the flatness of their environments they take back control and are the gatekeepers of their lives.

01.07. – 31.08.2019