Jun. 1, 2018 @ 12:00 am – 11:59 pm
This mural, titled “Por la Boca Muere El Pez”, is part of the “El Mero Muro Project by Gil Rocha. This colorful mural was inspired by the struggle of the Mexican-American border crossing of illegal immigrants. Even though it is bright and cheerful looking because of its color palette, there is a dark undertone expressed through the use of symbolically loaded images, combined with words and phrases often expressed as Mexican sayings.
The phrase “Por la boca muere el pez”, is often used to warn someone to keep their mouth shut or not to speak more than is needed. This expression translates to “The fish dies through the mouth”. Other phrases included are “Con un nudo en la garganta” (translates to “a knot on the throat”), used to describe the feeling of being speechless. Blue ladders of various sizes fill the empty space and extend from the floor to various heights along the mural.
A gas mask with the text “Espik en Inglich” is a fusion of both the English and Spanish language whose practice has become a norm along the border lexicon. Water, Black painted milk containers used for carrying water, camouflage backpacks, and other items, hang along a three level vendor cart that serves as a last stop resort to acquire much needed items for the journey that is to come; the journey of crossing into the U.S. illegally.
About the Artist
Gil Rocha was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He earned a BFA from the University of Texas in San Antonio (1999) and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006). His work was part of two major Texas exhibitions: the Texas Biennial (2017) in Austin, TX and the Trans-Border Biennial (2018) held at the El Paso Museum of Art and El Museo de Arte en Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He also guest-curated Mexic-Arte Museum’s exhibition “Young Latino Artists 23” in Austin, TX in 2018. He is the painting and drawing instructor at The Vidal M. Treviño School of Communication and Fine Arts, Board Member of the Laredo Center for the Arts, and committee member of the Laredo Culture District Project. Currently, he is curating an exhibition to coincide with “The Other Border Wall Project” at the 937 Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and preparing for his solo exhibition at the Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX.