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French artist JR's image of an inquisitive baby looking into the United States over the U.S.- Mexico border wall towards Tecate, California,
Reuters/Mike Blake
Borderless art.
TECATE TIME

A French artist is trolling Trump with installations that straddle the US-Mexico border

By Ana Campoy

Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies are putting Tecate, Mexico, on the map.

The small city across the border from California is the site for the second installation by French street artist JR. Last month, around the time when the US president ended an amnesty program for US residents who were brought to the US illegally as children, JR put a giant picture of a Tecate baby peering over the fence that divides Mexico and the US.

On Oct 8, the artist rolled out a massive print of two eyes, one on each side of the fence that separates the US from Mexico.

The piece served as the centerpiece of a binational picnic.

Members of the band playing at the event were split between countries. Attendees chatted with each other through the fence’s thick bars, and JR shared tea with a border patrol agent.

Tecate was also used by its namesake beer brand for a TV commercial with a similar portrayal of the border as a place that unites, not divides. It aired during one of the US presidential debates last year ahead of the election. Almost nine months into the Trump’s administration, it’s a message that remains relevant.