culture

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.

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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.

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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…

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And these nannies.

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Credit: David Feldman / YouTube

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

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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.

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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.

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Credit: David Feldman / YouTube

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

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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.

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While Hockney used vivid colors to convey the luxury lifestyles of the rich and the famous in Los Angeles, Gomez uses his brush strokes to highlight the cleaning pole of a pool cleaner.

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

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“He was excited to see these paintings in a different way,” Gomez said in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition about his meeting with Hockney. “He loved my choice of figures. He loved how I included the figures. He loved the color choices.”

In a Facebook photo he shared of the day he met Hockney in the flesh, Gomez said, “I did not get up this morning and think, ‘Today I’m going to meet and have lunch with David Hockney.’ But I did. The best things in life are unplanned. Along with a selfie to capture a moment I will always remember.'”

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

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“On a personal level, it is because I have seen my parents’ tired bodies after a long day’s work that inspires me to create artwork that recognizes their labor,” wrote Gomez on Facebook. “They sacrifice so much for me and I just want to make them proud. I want to make their struggles worth it, and I am grateful to have the ability to do so.”

The son of humble immigrants was able to send his two parents on their first vacation — a trip to Las Vegas.

A collection of Gomez’s work has been compiled in a coffee table book, Domestic Scenes, which was written by New Yorker magazine writer Lawrence Weschler.

READ: Meet The Artist Who Pays Latino Day Laborers To Be Subjects In His Paintings

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Getting Through a Long Work Week, As Told in Telenovela GIFs

#mitúLIFE

Getting Through a Long Work Week, As Told in Telenovela GIFs

Credit: MariMar / Televisa / @thalia_amoremio_latina / Instagram

Telenovelas might be a *little* dramatic when it comes to everyday life, but sometimes the reactions are spot-on for those longggg days at the office.


1. When it’s the Monday after a *party* weekend, and you want to crawl under your desk and nap the whole day.

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CREDIT: Univision/YouTube/UniNovelas

Why did I drink that last michelada? Why did I think I could survive on three and a half hours of sleep? I am not Machete, survivor of apocalypses! I need a cortadito ASAP.


2. …And when it’s Monday morning, and you have 3,000 unread emails to go through.

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CREDIT: Televisa/YouTube/e4bannan

Seriously, Sheila? Was “reply all” absolutely necessary to Janice in accounting’s baby announcement?! #ImproperTechnique


3. When you walk into the meeting and nobody knows how to do a video call.

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CREDIT: Univision/YouTube/UniNovelas

Is this thing on? Can they see us? #BlindLeadingTheBlind


4. When someone decides 60 degrees is just TOO HIGH for the office temperature and lowers the AC to -40.

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CREDIT: TV Azteca/YouTube/Telenovelas trailers

Is this what The Weeknd meant with, “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you”? I DO NOT love it, it’s cold AF.


5. When a popcorn bag explodes in the communal microwave.

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CREDIT: Televisa/YouTube/Marco R

Why have the microwave gods forsaken me? My hair is going to smell like Orville Redenbacher popcorn kernels and I just got it blow driedddd. ????


6. When you’re ranting on gchat with your work BFF about your shared work enemy.

Can HR read our convos? Oh well, YOLO.


7. When your manager walks by, and you try to hide the “spring break getaway deals” tab on your browser.

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CREDIT: Televisa/YouTube/Canal de PuertoRicoBestTV

Delete, delete, delete. #ByeFelicia


8. When you can’t find the emergency Tapatio packets in your office drawer.

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How am I supposed to eat my homemade sopa de fideo now? What is life?


9. When you round the corner and see the two interns in your department steal a kiss in the hallway.

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CREDIT: Televisa/YouTube/Novelas de America

This is NOT A CLUB, people. Ay Dios mio.  ?


10. When you took a little longer to eat during your lunch break, so you slide into your 3 p.m. meeting like…

Did I miss anything important other than everyone learning how to turn on a video conference call?


11. When people leave the office bathroom dirty (ewww ? ) so you have to take rip up wads of toilet paper to wipe everything down.

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WHO RAISED ALL OF YOU???


12. When your manager sends you a “Can you come into my office?” email.

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Stay calm, stay calm.


13. …And the meeting is actually about how well your performance has been, so you’re getting a raise! ?

See? The week wasn’t that bad!


READ: 15 Times Telenovelas Had The Best Responses to Everyday Life

Think these telenovela gifs describe your work week? Share this with your friends!

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