First, this view of the Jewish immigrant neighborhood of New York City’s Lower East Side. The artist, Albert Potter, was an immigrant from Russia, although he grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. I love the framing of the overpass bridge. I’d also like to point out that the prices on the pushcarts are backwards - yes, it can happen to anyone making a relief block print!
The issue of immigration has, of course, been a hot topic recently, with much hysterical rhetoric. It’s complicated and messy, I know, with lots of concerns that must be addressed and needs that must be balanced. But I confess that I cannot help but see immigrants as simply people: human beings who just want what all humans want - to have food and shelter, to feel safe, to have meaningful work, and to care for those they love. These things shouldn’t be too much to ask, and I like how these three wood block prints focus on the humanity of their subjects, something we must never lose sight of no matter how difficult the situation.
[Pictures: Eastside New York, woodcut by Albert Potter, c 1931-5 (Image from Library of Congress);
The Immigrants No. 2, woodcut by Maxwell Taylor, 1996 (Image from invaluable.com);
From the series Ní De Aqui Ni De Allá (From Neither Here Nor There), woodcut by Raoul Deal, c 2013 (Image from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).]