The small drawings that comprise Study from May Day March, Los Angeles 2010 (Immigration Reform Now) and We Are Immigrants Not Terrorists are based on photographs taken at a political rally in downtown Los Angeles in which thousands of individuals demonstrated for immigrants’ rights. The protesters and their supporters carried signs and wore t-shirts whose messages are highlighted in the drawings. However, in them, Bowers isolates the images of the protesters from the multitude that surrounds them in the original photographs, and, therefore amplifies their messages.
Andrea Bowers works at the locus of art and politics, implementing social activism through art discourse. Bowers’s drawings and videos humanize and quantify abstract concepts and ideologies by documenting the lives of those dealing with the everyday reality of illegal immigration and land ownership. Where contemporary media and journalism often explore politics in a removed and neutral manner, Bowers reminds us of the impact it has on an individual’s subjectivity. Her drawings, which impart a highly invested and admittedly partisan point of view, give a face to those who are otherwise overshadowed by dominant ideologies.