Steve Martinez’s Long Beach Walls (FKA POW! WOW! Long Beach) piece is a work of social commentary. The focal point is a spotted towhee, a sparrow that migrates from the Mexican state of Yucatán towards the west coast of the United States. They have a large population in Los Angeles that loosely parallels the journey of many Mexican migrants seeking a better life in the US. Martinez is Guatemalan and recalls the many Guatemalan children that die from common diseases within the custody of Border Protection camps. He also mentions how he uses contrasting colors in his squares and leading lines to draw viewers’ eyes to the sparrow.
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