James Magee, the incredibly prolific American artist and now published poet, rooted himself in El Paso and Juarez on the U.S. Mexico Border in 1978. Michigan-born, Ivy League-educated to be a lawyer, gender-fluid, ex-taxi driver and off-shore roughneck, Magee made his home on the border because he had work to do, big work, big visionary work, and the frontera was a place to be alone to do that work, away from all the jingle-jangle of the NYC arts scene. Besides, he could cross the border and hang in the gay and transgender bars, he could live any life he wanted to live, and he could be the artist (or artists) he wanted to be. The place radiated renegade freedom. And it was a cheap place to be an artist.
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