This Young Latino Creates Art Inspired By His Immigrant Parents

If you live in Los Angeles long enough, you’ll realize it’s a city of extremes. There are neighborhoods like Bel Air and Beverly Hills, where wealth and luxury is palpable. There’s also lots of ethnic enclaves where immigrants are in a balancing act to make ends meet.

L.A.-based artist Ramiro Gomez is attempting to bridge the gap between the two extremes.

Credit: @RamiroGomezJr / Twitter

At a young age, Gomez noticed that many Latino immigrants were working in L.A.’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

Credit: Twenty20

Many of the immigrants were working as gardeners, house keepers and other jobs to keep L.A.’s upscale neighborhoods immaculate. It struck a nerve with Gomez.

As he grew older, Gomez, the child of Mexican immigrants, began creating art inspired by service workers.

Credit: Michigan Humanites / YouTube

Gomez is well-known for placing cardboard cutouts of service workers in the high-end neighborhoods where they usually work. Like this gardener…

And these nannies.

Credit: David Feldman / YouTube

His idea is to highlight the humanity of people who are often seen as nothing but servants.

Credit: Michigan Humanites / YouTube

Gomez is aware that his methods are subtle, but he says it’s deliberate. He feels that being heavy-handed with his message may turn people off: “In my case, I’m almost like, I’m whispering… and letting them know what I feel and I think.”

Gomez knows the struggle service workers endure to make ends meet. His father is a truck driver and his mother works as a janitor.

Credit: Race Forward / YouTube

Gomez also has first-hand experience in the service industry. He nannied in the Laurel Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. While working as a nanny (artists have to pay the bills), Gomez spent lots of time driving around Los Angeles, which inspires lots of his work.

Gomez has also visited the border and placed cutouts to pay homage to people who risk their lives to give their children a better future.

Credit: David Feldman / YouTube

He doesn’t just do cutouts, though. He also takes existing art and “remixes” it to add service workers.

CREDIT: Facebook/Ramiro Gomez (Artist)

Here, an ad for an expensive Diane Von Furstenberg dress was reworked to include the women who often work on garments.

In this painting, the 29-year-old artist takes his inspiration from famed English painter David Hockney.

Eventually, Hockney saw Gomez’s versions of his work. And Hockney loved it.

Last year, Gomez’s parents had a chance to see their son’s work in a gallery.

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