In Beverly Hills, a cardboard gardener ‘represents’ (photos, video)

bigramiroWe first met West Hollywood artist Ramiro Gomez when he began placing his hand-painted cardboard figures of immigrant laborers in prominent public spaces in Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Even as his audience has expanded via out-of-town art exhibits and a documentary film, he still plants cutout cardboard workers in places where their real-life counterparts have been before. Gomez’ aim? To make workers who are normally INVISIBLE become visible to passersby who look away or look but never see.

This gardener with a hose popped up Wednesday just before sunset in Beverly Hills near that famous hotel. Like all Gomez’ creations, he has a name. Meet Sergio.

Mas…In Beverly Hills, a cardboard gardener ‘represents’ (photos, video)

Flowers that bloom in Bel-Air, tra la, need immigrant gardeners (fotos)

Installation artist Ramiro Gomez — who makes invisible immigrant laborers visible by installing cardboard cutout painted figures around Los Angeles neighborhoods — emailed Tuesday evening:

My newest piece is in front of a home in Bel-Air. I drove around for a while looking for a place that felt right. At first I placed them in front of the Hotel Bel-Air (see below) but the sun was setting fast and it didn’t feel right, so I continued driving down the street and found this house. As I approached this home on Strada Corta Rd. near the Bel-Air Country Club, I was immediately drawn to the colorful spring flowers, the sun shining at the right spot and my instinct was to place them here.

If you could mention that my UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center show “Luxury, Interrupted” closes April 8th I would really appreciate it.

Mas…Flowers that bloom in Bel-Air, tra la, need immigrant gardeners (fotos)

‘Why Braceros?’ 1959 PR film says don’t be scared, it’s OK


Don’t worry, gringos, Mexican nationals won’t steal your job since all these “nationals” do is “stoop labor.” Also, explains the friendly Mexican Consul, they are “braceros” and not “wetbacks.”

The 19-minute film Why Braceros? was produced around 1959 on behalf of the Council of California Growers.

The Journal of Murketing explains:

It aims to tell viewers about “the benefits of the bracero program,” The Field Guide to Sponsored Films explains, “originally initiated by the United States in 1942 to alleviate the World War II labor shortage.” This was a “guest worker” program that made it okay for Mexican labor to be brought in seasonally to work on cotton farms and other manual jobs (“stoop labor,” it’s called in the films).

Mas…‘Why Braceros?’ 1959 PR film says don’t be scared, it’s OK

Did Romney’s (underpaid?) housekeeper show up in RNC video?

Who is that woman washing dishes or doing laundry in the Romney family home?

Colorlines writes:

Before Mitt Romney was introduced at the Republican National Convention on a Thursday night viewers saw a 10-minute video created to humanize Romney. The video featured the Romney family inside their home several times but in one of the scenes a women who appears to be working for the family in the background was simply ignored.

Is she one of the four housekeepers the reports have alleged Romney is underpaying? It could be, but more importantly some say the video made her invisible.

“As I’m watching Romney’s RNC video spotlighting his family, I find it interesting there is no mention of the woman in the red shirt in the background, who is obviously there helping,” said artist Ramiro Gomez, who’s art looks to start conversations about the labor force that takes care of families and homes.

Colorlines has the whole story and the video.

RELATED: Ramiro Gomez’s latest creation, Antonio, sells Maps to the Stars Homes

Video screen capture courtesy Colorlines via Ramiro Gomez.

Ramiro says his name is Antonio – here is his life so far (photos)

Installation artist and painter Ramiro “Jay” Gomez continues to populate the streets of Southern California with immigrant laborers painted on cardboard.  His quest? To make visible the invisible people who keep L.A. — and Beverly Hills — running.

Here, in the artist’s photographs, is the life story of Ramiro’s newest creation, the guy who sells tourists Maps to the Stars Homes. Ramiro says his name is Antonio. He works his trade at the eastern edge of Beverly Hills, at Santa Monica Boulevard and Doheny, on the border with West Hollywood. Will he be there Thursday morning?

Does the woman with the stroller and the smartphone even know he’s there?

Mas…Ramiro says his name is Antonio – here is his life so far (photos)

Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce: ‘Mexicans work better’

(PNS reporting from WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Labor Department are launching a campaign to promote Hispanic workers.

The Mexicans Work Better campaign encourages American business owners to hire Latino workers for whatever jobs are open and at whatever salary.

“Since the Spanish arrival in the Americas, Latinos have been great workers. We want to encourage U.S. business owners to continue to hire them, at whatever cost,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Adrian García told a Monday morning press conference in the Watergate Hotel.

“By hiring Latino workers, business owners get people with a good work ethic, and Latinos get the chance to buy themselves a pack of tortillas — maybe even two. It’s a fair trade.”

Mas…Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce: ‘Mexicans work better’

Students create gigantic portrait of Cesar Chavez from 5500 dominos

San Diego students used dominos to create a huge Cesar Chavez mural and installed it over the weekend in Chicano Park. NBC San Diego’s Gitzel Puente reports:

It took 5,500 domino pieces, 40 students and six weeks to create this piece of art. Students and staff from O’Farrell Community School started this mural using blueprints, and then they glued them to vinyl tiles [and]…dedicated this 10-foot mural to farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.

“About two months ago, we decided to do something for the community and what better thing to do than dedicate this to Cesar Chavez. We started telling the kids about it, letting them know what he did, his legacy and how he brought people together for a good cause,” says O’Farell’s Spanish instructor Jose Islas.

Puente uploaded a nice photo of the portrait to her Twitter account. We have it below:

Mas…Students create gigantic portrait of Cesar Chavez from 5500 dominos

Factory workers strike in China as GOP and Fox demand more

Chinese meme manufacturers are struggling with increased demand
(PNS reporting from BEN WA, CHINA) A wildcat strike at the FoxCon plant here yesterday briefly shut down meme production as assembly-line workers protested increased workloads and a benefit cutback.

FoxCon’s Factory #42, a joint venture by Fox News and the GOP Conservative Action Committee, produces faux factoids, snotty snippets and misrepresentations of the Democrats’ policy positions for increasingly-desperate right-wing organizations.

Plant managers are apparently struggling to come up with sufficient quantities of the bullshit antagonists needed keep the Republican primary candidates from sinking into a morass of obvious lies, silly solipsisms and cesspools of hate.

Mas…Factory workers strike in China as GOP and Fox demand more

Alabama legislators to ‘import’ Canadian workers to fill jobs

Recent aerial photo shows rotting crops
(PNS reporting from DIXIE) In a move to avoid further financial ruin and humiliation, Alabama legislators are considering an unusual measure called the “Canuck Program” that would “import” laborers from Canadia to fill empty Alabama jobs.

Immigrant Mexican labor has all but disappeared from the Alabama landscape and the state has lost $10.8 billion in rotting crops and revenue.

Lawmakers desperate for solutions hope the Canuck Program will resuscitate the Yellowhammer State’s ignorant and bigoted economy.

Mas…Alabama legislators to ‘import’ Canadian workers to fill jobs