|Barefoot Rider(Girl) 49"x41"
|Barefoot Rider(Boy) 48"x45"
The “Barefoot Riders” series is about the journeys we take in life: what we are given to start with and what we will encounter along the way. “Barefoot Rider (Girl)” is the portrait of a young friend whose mother immigrated from Mexico. Although born and raised in the United States, she grew up in a home with no father present, where Spanish was the primary language, with a grandmother who didn’t speak English and a mother who had to learn the language in order to support the family. The white horse she is riding has shuttered eyes, letting us know that her journey has not always been clear or easy.
“Barefoot Rider (Boy)” is also about life’s journey, in this case a young indigenous boy with a monk’s tonsure. His mount, also white, has no bridle, and only a whip in the boy’s hand to guide the two. Both riders and their mounts are constructed of imagery drawn from multiple sources. Trees, sticks and earth combine with part of a Navajo rug make up the Girl’s horse while a cluster of flowers make the saddle. The Boy and his horse are made of different elements, including lava rocks and urban graffiti—elements somewhat harsher than the Girl’s. By being aware of what the horses and their riders are made of, it’s possible to see the bits and pieces of two life journeys, similar yet very different.