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Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry


ORIGINAL IN PRIVATE COLLECTION. Limited Edition print available.


22" x 15". (Original was done in acrylic on canvas.)


  • This piece brings back many memories.  I was born in  La Paz, El Salvador, in 1983. As a small child I loved home.  I remember mom Gloribel, Grandfather Dario, Grandma TIla and Cousin Rene.  I remember catching fireflies with Rene.  I remember playing in front of the house with my other cousin Diana. I remember going to the cemetery after my cousin Diana died.  I remember messing with my neighbor's dogs and falling into a rock as I ran away. I remember Grandpa taking me to the mountains and showing me how the work is done.  Those are some of the good family memories.


    Then there was the war.  A truck of soldiers coming to recruit. The looked at me and let me go because I was too little.  I was 3 or 4 years old.  Mom and I hid under the bed all night as gunfire was going on, AK-47 rounds and bombs. Mom and I would walk the dirt road the next day and there would be dead bodies laid out all down the road.  We lived in a village with rock roads.  Each night villagers carried a large wooden cross from one house to another.  I remember watching that as live rounds were going on. The women’s screams are hard to forget.


    This war was what would lead my mother and auntie to decide to leave.  I remember holding my baby sister only 9 months old in my arms as my mom got on a bus to come to the US.  I can only imagine the pain mom must have endured and what she must still go through now as I write these words in prison.


    As far back as I can remember, the violence and displacement made me question everything. Ultimately I’d understand that El Salvador was but another proxy war between superpowers, between capitalist and communist powers.  So I call this piece Dirty Laundry because of the way facts are silenced. Why did it happened? Who was involved?  This war has affected a whole generation.


    Home and family were beautiful but the violence, separation and migration turned a beautiful home full of love into a memory which brought anger and sadness to mind.  It’s taken me 33 years to finally come to grips with everything that happened.  I paint to confront these memories and to hopefully bring awareness to the world of what went on - and how what happened continues to affect the country and people of El Salvador.

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