Side by side of two Ester Hernandez prints: "Sun Mad" (1982) and "Sun Raid" (2008)
In "Sun Mad," Hernandez reconfigures the cheerful branding of the Sun-Maid raisin company into a grim warning. In response to her family’s exposure to polluted water and pesticides in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Hernandez sought to unmask the “wholesome figures of agribusiness,” such as the Sun Maid. The skeletal figure draws attention to the dangers and adverse effects of the various chemicals listed in the print’s lower register.
Twenty-six years after her original, Hernandez reimagines her classic "Sun Mad" poster as a condemnation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition to changing the title from "Sun Mad" to "Sun Raid," she outfits the calavera (skeleton) with an ICE wrist monitor and a huipil, a traditional indigenous garment. This latter reference suggests how indigenous people from Mexico and Central America represent a segment of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Hernandez issued this print at a time when the George W. Bush administration was being widely criticized for its high level of workplace raids.