Maureen Burdock

Marta & the Missing (page 11)
india ink on bristol
18 x 24 in.

For over a decade, women and girls have been disappearing from Ciudad Juarez. The body count is in the hundreds. Nobody knows who the murderers are, though it seems certain that there are numerous perpetrators. The raped and mutilated bodies are found dumped in the desert, in fields, along roadsides, in the garbage. Police appear to be either directly linked to the violence against women, or at the very least they seem to be part of a cover-up. This artist is telling the story in the hope of making a difference in public perception resulting in action to help this violence end. The project is comprised of two parts: 1. A series of 12 portraits of some of the victims are taken from small snapshots that were posted on the Internet. The portraits are intimate and upbeat, and meant to cherish these women’s memories. 2. A series of 16 pen and ink drawings tell the story of Marta and her sidekick Pepito, a dog with a strong sense of ethics and humor. Marta is a young woman superhero who is visited by the ghosts of the disappeared and is led by them to the sites where violence is about to occur. Marta learns that by standing together with the victims and their families, communally they can end this nightmare. These paintings and drawings were exhibited together at the MECENAS Gallery in Juarez in March of 2007. The pieces are bound as a graphic novel in English and Spanish.

Maureen Burdock was born in Germany and spent the first years of her life in Europe during the cold war era of the 1970’s. Burdock has always been a prolific artist, constructing large-scale multimedia exhibitions about themes of war and its effects on civilian populations. She has won awards for her surrealist work and had numerous solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her influences include Hannah Hoch, John Heartfield, Käthe Kollwitz, Phoebe Glockner and Diane DiMassa. Burdock became interested in the idea of using graphic design to instigate political change in the mid 1990’s, at which time she returned to school to master digital production techniques. She co-owns THEMA, a Santa Fe, New Mexico business specializing in publication development and design, where she immerses herself in graphics and illustration.

© Maureen Burdock