Race and culture discussed at art exhibit

Race and immigration have been big topics of conversation during this presidential administration, particularly the question of what it means to be an American. Today at the Rochester Art Center - a gifted Mexican-American artist showcased his mixed media pieces focused on cultural identity.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 11:14 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

Mixed-media renderings created by Bobby Marines are more than just pages of art. They represent the experiences of his family and friends as Mexican-Americans.

One piece is called "Cuz," which depicts his cousin and Bobby's son.

"My cousin ran into some trouble years ago and he got caught with some automatic weapons," Marines said. "He ended up on paper looking like a criminal, like a really, bad, dangerous person. So on paper, he's someone you should stay away from."

But Marines views his cousin with sympathy and affection.

"I know him as the little boy who raised all of his siblings pretty much on his own by any means he could find and I know him as a person with a good heart," Marines said.

Through his art, Marines wants to spark questions.

"Is that the true them or is there a truer version of them?"

A second piece he showed is called "Happy Birthday," showing a beaten-down pinata.

"That was at my cousin's birthday party," Marines said. "She ended up being left when she was young."

The message Marines wants to show are the scars of abdnonment.

"Just a child being beaten downby life already," Marines said. "They are hanging in there but they've been beaten down so much."

Though there is a message of darkness in his work, Marines is an artist filled with optimism.

"There's still people out here towards change, there's still people out here working non-stop towards something positive, towards changing the status quo," Marines said.

And clearly - he is the kind of person he describes.

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