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The Sweat on the Green Grass and Spotless Kitchens

Ramiro Gomez, is a Los Angeles artist, producer of the popular  “Happy Hills” blog. He has developed since 2011, a new form of popular culture and  has recently been recognized for his unique public art installations on wealthy Los Angeles neighborhoods, made out of three-dimensional paintings of low-wage domestic laborers on cardboard. He paints housekeepers, valet workers and gardeners on cardboard and places them on the sites of wealthy, Hollywood landscapes and also photo shops domestic workers into luxurious print home magazines.  His artworks makes visible the hard work of this political, social and economic marginalized community.

Gomez’s art intervenes in creating political conscious spectators and also challenges ideas of race, class, gender and even citizenship status of migrant workers whom are often made invisible through racist neoliberalist politics.Thus, this artwork becomes an important means for articulating dissent for migrant laborers, in a contemporary context where migrants do not have economic power or political representation.

Ramiro’s artwork gives a form of power and respect to the migrant, largely Latino workforce of the affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods. It’s public art installations forces the affluent residents to acknowledge the presence of these workers. A gaze and respect that is often denied to theses low -wage workers. It creates a socio-political consciousness among spectators of who is maintaining and running these affluent communities. It makes the residents of these communities realize that behind a clean kitchen, or green grass is the sweat of a migrant worker.

His art installations calls attention to think critically about immigration and the process of deportation. Ramiro Gomez’s artwork form is temporal and disposable, similarly, as how anti-immigrant sentiments and laws have constructed a temporal and disposable status for migrant laborers. His public art installations reflects upon the positive contribution and necessary work of migrant workers that is slowly being eliminated by the rise of many anti-immigrant laws, such as in Alabama that has displace many workers.  The oppression of immigrant service workers is a global issue interweaved with race, class, gender and citizenship. Ramiro’s artwork becomes a political tool that engages dialogue on issues of immigration. It humanizes and gives a face to those who are often made disposable.

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