Saenz, born in Mexico, resides in San Antonio, Texas where he is head of the printmaking program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The subjects of his images tend to focus on immigration issues, highlighted by tensions along the United States-Mexican border. Saenz illuminates issues–including immigration law, border conflict, identity, food culture, and children’s rights–that impact Mexican communities in the U.S. He notes, “My experience of being a first-generation son of Mexican immigrants, combined with the injustices suffered by those who cannot speak for themselves, has been at the forefront of my work for over fifteen years now.”
Saenz makes an interesting observation concerning the relationship between social and political dynamics and his figure style: The piñatafication of the figures represents the objectification of minorities and points to the loss of culture, identity, and the division of disenfranchised immigrant communities.