Antonio Chico Garcia - United States
[After 9/11/2001] I ran into a store and got one of those little cameras they sell, Kodak, and I went up to the roof. I just had to go to the roof. And I took shots, shots, shots, shots, from the beginning to the end. When the plane hit, I got everything on film. It freaked me out. Everybody that was up there climbing out, there were all the housing workers and a couple tenants. There was a guy with a video camera grabbing the whole things. He was up there, too, we were all screaming. When those things [World Trade Center towers] came down, that was the worst. I didn’t go to work. I left the job, went down to 14th street and I painted a wall…When I saw that, I said, you know what, I’m going to go straight to Orchard Street, and I’m going to do a painting because I know my cousins are gone. I know. That’s it. But I’m going to do this now, because I feel it, and to ease my pain. I’m going to do this. And that’s what I did. I went over there and I did a painting. Now I did, and the Ninth Precinct came to my house…I opened the door and I saw this cop, and I said “What’s going on?” “Oh, Chico, can we walk in?” I said, “Yeah, you can walk in. Do you have a warrant?” The said, “No.” They were looking at me real serious, and I’m looking at them serious. “What’s the problem?” They walk inside my apartment looking around like they’re looking for something. I said, “What’s going on? You guys got a warrant?” “No, we have no warrant. We want to take you with us.” “For what? You ain’t taking me nowhere, Papi.” They just started laughing, because they said, “We want you to do an American flag.” So I said, “You guys are crazy. Why do you guys want to do this to me, at a time like now?” “No, Chico, I know. Can you come now?”…Then after that, some other lady called me and she wanted Jesus Christ on her wall, and with just like this with the hands open to the world, and the World Trade Center. I did that. People started calling me and calling me and they’re still calling me.