Note: The Gallery is open M-F 9am-5pm.
Artist Ramiro Gomez’s life-sized cardboard cutouts, paintings, and constructions bring attention to those who toil behind the familiar scenes of luxury and affluence in America.
LA based, he often focuses on the Hispanic work force in Beverly Hills—the nannies, and gardeners, housekeepers, and pool cleaners.
In 2014, he spent several weeks as an artist in residence with the U-M Institute for the Humanities, mounting his works across the Diag, changing our everyday landscape on campus. One installation depicted migrant workers in the field, incorporating cardboard vegetable boxes foraged from the dumpsters behind dorm cafeterias. Another illustrated a groundskeeper tending to fall leaves.
For his current exhibition, Gomez will create a room-sized installation of his cutouts in the Institute for the Humanities gallery.
Although his works contemplate issues of race and cultural identity, they more philosophically explore delineations and disconnects between people, the have and have-nots, the visible and invisible. His articulated figures are performative, capturing the rhythm and gesture of the service industry, their endless repetitions that keep things running. Almost naïve in materiality and process, his constructions are measured and deliberate actions of inclusion.
Seeing a Gomez figure propped on a manicured lawn—or in a Hockney painting, or pasted in a luxury goods magazine ad—permanently changes the picture, and our narratives about wealth and prosperity in our society.
-Amanda Krugliak, Institute for the Humanities curator