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Ramiro Gomez: Cut-Outs

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
12:00 AM
Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer

Exhibition open April 15-June 8

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.

The exhibition is open from April 15-June8. Gallery Hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. The Opening Reception will be held on Wednesday, April 15 from 5:30-7pm.

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.

About the Artist: Ramiro Gomez was born in 1986 in San Bernardino, CA. His life-sized cardboard figures document the predominantly Hispanic workforce who “work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the beautiful imagery of these affluent area” around Los Angeles.

In 2013 Gomez had a solo exhibition at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, and was an artist-in-residence at the CSUF Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA. Also in 2013, Gomez exhibited at the AFL-CIO National Convention, where he was also a Guest Lecturer. He also gave lectures at Stanford University, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara from 2012-13. The City of West Hollywood, CA awarded Gomez with a residency in 2013, where he installed a mural in West Hollywood Park – a project titled The Caretakers, which remains on view. His work has been covered in the Washington Post, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, and CNN. Gomez lives and works in West Hollywood, CA.

He is represented by Charlie James Gallery.