Tuesday, February 5, 2013


"he just got married one year before" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

This is the beginning of a new series of paintings, entitled Prison Hill, featuring inmates of the Yuma Territorial Prison. The prison opened in 1876 housing a total of 3,069 prisoners over its 33 years of operation. 

Juan Miranda Yuma Prisoner 2977

This is Juan Miranda, convicted of burglary in the 1st degree, May 12, 1909, and released one year later. His legitimate occupation was shoemaker, he was married to Petra Peralta and had no children at the time of his arrest.

Using these paintings, I will be working in collaboration with Christine Cassano combining them with her concrete work, found objects and other prisoner information.

NOTE: The inmates were photographed in a most innovative way. Not only did they do a before (assuming upon their incarceration) and an after (when given a hair cut, a shave and a prison uniform), they also used a mirror, propped up on the right shoulder to give a profile view at the same time as the front view, thus saving time and plates.

What I plan on doing in this series is combining the before image front view with the after image mirror view into one painting.

I found this obituary posted in the Yuma Daily Sun, May 24, 1950. There is no mention of prison, or a previous wife, Petra. Could it be the same Juan Miranda? The age and occupation match up.

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