3 min read

Border Crossers

Border Crossers

Chico MacMurtrie is good friend and artist based in Brooklyn.

Chico at his friend's in Bisbee, AZ

Chico's specialty is robots. When he's in Brooklyn, he works out of this amazing old church in Red Hook.

Dog for scale.

Chico grew up on the US-Mexico border in Naco, AZ.

Chico's childhood ranch and workshop in Naco, AZ. The dotted line is the border wall. 

Here's how Chico spoke about growing up in a border town in an interview with the Detroit Metrotimes.

"I'm half Irish and half Mexican. I was born in New Mexico, but I grew up on the border of Naco, Arizona, and Naco, Sonora, Mexico. In my childhood, my friends in Mexico used to come through a hole in the chain-link fence to go to school with us in America. It was a very "open" closed border in a way. There was sort of dual languages spoken and all that."

"That fence was a prominent image for me. We would have fights over that fence with BB guns. But it was a really close-knit community that had access to each other. As I came back from college, there was the very first wall. They just slapped these things together to make this barrier. It was a very kludge-y, raw fence. On the American side, it was put together very crudely. On the Mexican side, often they're painted very vibrantly and festively to try to cheer up this horrible barrier, you know. So that's something that has always been a part of my life."

For the last five years Chico and his wife, Luise, have been working on a project called Border Crossers. The first performance of Border Crossers was this May in Arizona. I happened to be visiting my parents at the time in Phoenix. My mom loaned me her Prius, I drove three hours South to the border, and had the privilege of witnessing the performance.