In 2019, Mateo Vargas initiated a project called 69,550. It’s an ongoing mixed media/performance art piece engaged with the record number of known migrant children detained by the Trump administration in the United States in 2019 alone.
The piece intends to take the numeral statistic of a group of children normally unseen and unheard and transform it into a tangible visual in the real world where each number has its own weight and significance representing a human life. Each number is painted in red, white and blue paint on the same kind of emergency blankets used in concentration camps of migrant children in the United States.
By the end of the project, the painting will cover 100 sheets. Varga’s intention is to cover a whole exhibition space from wall to wall.