Welcome, stranger

The horrendous anti-refugee backlash certain politicians and their bigoted followers have promulgated following the killings in Paris is hard to stomach. A country founded by immigrants, when you consider the effect on the indigenous population, doesn’t sound like such a good idea. But the world is mankind’s home, and we move, by choice or necessity, and to shun the stranger at our gates is to do harm to our humanity. As this is an art blog, let me follow up last week’s post on artists who are irrevocably associated with France (I might have added van Gogh, Picasso, and many others to that list) by listing some American artists who were born elsewhere. Among the refugee children whose future in this country is now in doubt, are there not a few who could go on to join our pantheon of American artists? Of course there are.

Thomas Cole, born in England:

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Willem de Kooning, born in the Netherlands

Willem de Kooning - Stowaway, 1986 at Pinakothek der Moderne Munich Germany

Willem de Kooning – Stowaway, 1986 at Pinakothek der Moderne Munich Germany

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, born in Cuba

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Eva Hesse, born in Germany

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Christo, born in Bulgaria, and Jeanne-Claude, born in Morocco. I chose this image from The Gates for sentimental reasons; I was there the day after this was taken, as the snow melted off of Central Park.

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