Alumni Art Exhibition 2021 - Roberto Sandoval

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A hand clipping barbed wire

El Sueno Americano, 2020
Archival Inkjet Print
15 x 15 inches inches

A basketball suspended above an old hoop

A Simple Pleasure, 2020
Archival Inkjet Print
15 x 12 inches

Large signs of Farm Works in masks Loom over a field

The Field of Dreams, 2020
Archival Inkjet Print
18 x 58 inches

Making art for me has become a very personal act. I tend to express ideas about my culture and how they relate to me and the present. Being born and raised in southern California I always had a lot of questions about my Mexican heritage and how that related to who I was. With my photographs I try and explore ideas that answer my questions or lead me in the right direction at least. A lot of the questions I have are about my family and where they come from. I also feel drawn to subjects that deal with landscapes and how humans interact with them. I guess at this moment I feel inclined and even obligated to explore where I come from and relate it to where I’m going. In one recent series, I wanted to create a set of photographs of the Manzanar concentration camp in the Owens valley in California. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the united stated government unjustly incarcerated over 110,000 Japanese immigrants and their American families. I cannot help but draw parallels to current times when Immigrant families are being split apart at the border and incarcerated for simply wanting a better life. This image of a child cutting a barbed wire fence expresses the desire for a better life despite facing huge hurdles to get somewhere safe like the US. Only to be stripped from your family and essentially put in prison. By using references by photographers that photographed Manzanar in the 40’s, like Ansel Adams, and Toyo Miyatake I want to connect the past to the present.  During this pandemic, I have started a new project focusing on how essential workers have faced extreme trials and tribulations. Whether it be a doctor, firefighter, truck driver, or agricultural worker, essential workers have been put to the test. Faced with problems that U.S. citizens don’t typically face life is significantly harder for an immigrant worker. The lack of unemployment assistance and lack of food benefits put further strain on immigrant families. Besides the lack of government help many immigrant workers are essentially being forced to work or not be paid. Despite the huge risk they take every day in the workplace they continue to serve the country with their services. 

Roberto Rojas Sandoval is currently working on his undergraduate degree in photography/printmaking at Fresno state. Sandoval has participated in several Cerritos College student art shows. Receiving 3rd place in printmaking/ 2D design, and the printmaking faculty choice award in 2015. Then in 2016 Sandoval received 3rd place in photography, the photography faculty choice award, and in printmaking/2D design the John Demott award. In 2017 Sandoval participated and photographed the Far Bazaar show, held on the old grounds of the Cerritos college art department. In addition to receiving his AA in photography from Cerritos college, Sandoval also worked as a Cerritos college photography lab technician from 2017 to 2019.