French artist JR recently erected a massive installation in a remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to spark conversation about immigration.
The piece, seen in the image above, is of a toddler peering over the steel wall that acts as the border between the United States and Mexico. The cutout of the boy is nearly 65 feet tall and is located near the Tecate border crossing, about 40 miles southeast of San Diego.
“I wonder, is this kid worrying about what will happen? What does he think?” JR said of the piece to the New York Times. “At 1 year old, you don’t see the frontier or which side is better.”
Ironically, the artwork was unveiled as President Trump said he would end a program that has allowed young immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children to remain in the country. His administration also accepted more proposals for its plans to build a continuous wall along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
JR says he didn’t intend for the Tecate project to coincide with the news about the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
“Now, as an artist, I think that it’s amazing that the piece arrived at a moment when it creates more dialogue,” JR tells the LA Times. “Because the idea itself is to raise more questions.”
The artist describes his work as “pervasive art,” which usually utilizes large, black-and-white photography in public places in the same fashion as a graffiti artist. He’s sometimes referred to as “the French Banksy.”
Others say his works highlight the “Ellis Islands of today.” This has taken him from the shores of Italy to the California desert.