Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez wants to remind the upper crust just who keeps things so neat and tidy—and that those people are more than just their jobs.
Highlighting the inequity between the opulent environments of the wealthy and those who keep those environments opulent, Gomez paints lawn-keepers on landscaped greenery, housekeepers in gilded dining rooms, and pool cleaners skimming the surface of backyard oases, all atop luxury magazine advertisements.
A son of working-class immigrant Mexican parents, Gomez saw the inequities first hand. But it wasn’t until, after art school, he took a job as a nanny for an affluent Los Angeles family that he discovered his medium of choice. His employers gave him old copies of luxury magazines like Architectural Digest, with high-gloss consumer ads; this, combined with how he saw his employers treat their staff and his upbringing, provided enough inspiration and media to begin creating these works.
“It’s a very humiliating thing to feel like you’re not as important as a luxury item,” he told Fast Co.Exist.
Though he’s shown he can paint more photorealistic, life-size portraits—check out the below Racial Justice video of his public installation artwork—the workers depicted in his “Domestic Scenes” series are more impressionistic, out of focused, emphasizing how unseen the workforce can go in plain sight.
Gomez opens an exhibition, his first gallery solo show, January 11 of the magazine artworks, called “Domestic Scenes,” at the Charlie James Gallery in the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. The show is on display until February 15.
[via The Atlantic]