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February 28, 2013

Tropics of Meta

While most artists find their voice in the studio, Ramiro Gomez Jr. found his in the space between two very disparate and disconnected worlds. In 2009, he left the California Institute of the Arts and moved in with a wealthy family in West Hollywood to work as a live-in nanny and care for two infants. Although nervous about his huge new responsibilities, he was also grateful and relieved to finally have some stability and a chance to rethink his artistic path.

With one baby strapped to this chest and another baby slung on his hip, Ramiro found his way to the park, the un-official gathering and organizing space for maids and nannies. At first the other domestic workers didn’t know what to make of him. Males, and especially second generation Latinos, are not common in this predominantly Latina migrant occupation. But once they warmed up to him and saw his…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Alberto Duarte permalink
    March 1, 2013 10:54 pm

    Ramiro Gomez Jr is doing important work towards uncovering a largely ignored and unrepresented labor force in California. Due to the precariousness of most immigrants waiting at the locked doors of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, while banks literally take the homes away from millions of Americans and residents (making even housing an uncertainty), many domestic live-in workers remain silent in the face of exploitation and abuse. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that we really do not know the extent at which domestic workers are being mistreated. In such an intimate space like a home and with such sensitive and personal relationships established through child bearing, it is impossible to cleanly establish “off duty” hours and easy to overlook even formal requests for time off. We must not be timid in our use of the words “modern”, “day”, and “slavery”.

    My deep night heart goes to this fellow and his work. He does not simply point to a political problem but he gives a human face to all those who are blurred in the backdrop of luxury.

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