Jesus at the Border Crossing

Nicholas Herrera, Jesus at the Border Crossing, 21st century. Wood and paint, San Angel Folk Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas.

Nicholas Herrera (b. 1964) is an American folk artist known for santos carving, a tradition brought to New Mexico by the Spanish in the 16th century. Santos sculptures are carved and painted three-dimensional images of the Christian holy trinity and saints. Missionary priests used the sculptures as visual aids to explain the stories of the passion (suffering) of Christ and the saints. Bloodied and emaciated, Jesus is seen here in chains and a crown of thorns. The broad-shouldered border patrolmen each wear a Wild West-style five-point Sheriff’s badge—guns holstered on their hips and billy clubs at the ready. Note, however, the sympathetic glance the officers direct toward Jesus and how, despite his suffering, he returns their compassionate look and perhaps has a word of sympathy on his open lips.

Nicholas Herrera, Jesus at the Border Crossing. Wood and paint, 21st century. San Angel Folk Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas.

Associated with a deity; exhibiting religious importance; set apart from ordinary (i.e. "profane") things.

One who embarks on a mission of good (usually religiously motivated) works, often to a distant locale.

God as expressed in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.

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