“Elegy” is a newly developed series of ink illustrations focused on the “mourning poems” of a post 1492 contemporary Brown America. Visual artist, Borish (BenRojas) recreates an element of warrior culture and the physical markings oftattoos in a modern twist. Influenced by the strong negative media on young
Latino gangs, Borish reinterprets traditional gang tattoos into markings that question or mourn oppression in the Americas after European encounter. This series exposes that clash of cultures for it’s violence, oppression, beauty, destruction, and creation that continues to this modern day.
Benjamin Omar Rojas (Borish) was born in 1979 to parents who had immigrated to the United States from the country of El Salvador. They established their new lives in the well-known Californian Bay Area. After high school Benjamin went on to community college and then to San Francisco State University in 2004 where he majored in Art Education and received his B.A. In 2003 Benjamin helped form an artist collective with two other friends called the Trust Your Struggle collective. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, Benjamin co-founded the Trust Your Hustle mural tour, which traveled through Mexico and Central America creating murals in the summer of 2006 and then again across the United States in 2008. Benjamin has exhibited art and painted murals in such places as: San Francisco, New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Virginia Tech University, Trinity College in Connecticut, Puerto Rico, The Netherlands, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Benjamin has also participated on speaking panels at Harlem School of the Arts, Trinity College, Virginia Tech University, University of the Arts in Boston, and the Casa de Artesana Women’s Center in Guatemala City.