Salvador Andrade Arévalo’s current practice is informed by his upbringing as a Mexican immigrant in Chicago and by the untold histories of his migrant family. His Mexican-American heritage traces through four generations of migration that began with his great-grandfather. Given that his family has oscillated between rural Mexico and Chicago for over a century, his work centers on the materiality of migrant labor and on the power structures that facilitate the perpetual liminality of disenfranchised and marginalized communities.
As a trained printmaker, he relies on a mixed media format that explores materials used by laborers. In this way, he communes with his family’s migrant legacy, and he celebrates the history of a family that was never formally educated. More importantly, he reasserts their histories in the face of a traditional Western canon that has ignored them and upheld the neoliberal and capitalist power structures that leech from the labor of individuals seeking fair living conditions. By doing so, he disrupts the entrenched xenophobia that persistently plagues America’s current political landscape. And he makes space for migrant communities that look to thrive beyond persecution and condemnation.