Behind the scenes at the L.A. County Museum of Art (photos)

lacmapostcard04POCHO amigo Ramiro Gomez, a SoCal guerrilla artist who we first met when he started placing cardboard cut-outs of previously-invisible immigrant workers around Beverly Hills and Hollywood, now has his work in art museums (as well as in the homes of private art collectors.)

Recently, he visited to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) where he saw more immigrant laborers toiling tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the museum clean and tidy.

Gomez snapped some photos of the museum custodians and then painted their images onto postcards from the LACMA gift shop, like this postcard of the Urban Light sculpture/assemblage.

He described the image this way on Facebook:

I am greatly inspired by the way The Impressionists saw a scene, and by the Social Realists who wanted to draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working class. The figures I paint are my impressions of people I’ve seen working. In places like LACMA, the art on the walls is not what captures my full attention, but rather, my eye is also drawn to the people walking around maintaining the space. If there is anything I’ve learned from art history, is that my job as an artist is to capture what life is like in my time period, and scenes like this, I feel, best represent what I see. [Custodians near Urban Light, LACMA 4″ x 6″ acrylic on postcard]

Can you match the laborers on the postcards with the janitors in the photos?

Mas…Behind the scenes at the L.A. County Museum of Art (photos)

‘To the Bone’ explores the lives of migrant farmworkers (video)


A pre-teen migrant farmworker attempts to rebel against the status quo with unintended consequences for herself and her family. Both a coming-of-age story and a window into the world of child migrant farmworkers in the U.S., To the Bone is an intimate film about one family that represents the struggles of so many. Starring Naomie Feliu, Jaime Alvarez, Carlos C. Torres, Maria Elena Laas, Eliezer Ortiz. Directed by Erin Li.

Talk radio guy blows the lid off ‘Mexican swimming lessons’ (video)


If you’ve been wondering why the internationally-lauded public school system in Mexico makes sure all the kids get swimming lessons, talk show guy AND education expert Rick Rantz of 1270AM WQTT in Union County, OH, has the answer. Advertising Sales Manager Mike Schnell is at 614.935.1038 if you have more questions.The radio station’s Programming Department is at 614.425.9633, or you can email grivers@icsohio.com.

‘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

Farmworker releases tax returns and asks ‘Where are Romney’s?’

(PNS reporting from EL PASO) Early this morning, area farmworker Celestino Sepúlveda made five years of his tax returns public.

Holding faded copies of his 1040EZ from tax years 2007 to 2011, Sepúlveda told reporters, “Quiero ser un ejemplo para Romney” (I want to be an example for Romney) by publicly revealing his Federal returns.

At a press conference  held at 3AM scheduled to accommodate his need to obtain agricultural day work from farm labor contractors, who start recruiting at 3:30, Sepúlveda explained.

“I have nothing to hide about the way I earn my money, because I earned it through honest work,” said the 37-year-old native of Jalpa, Zacatecas, standing with several other farmworkers on the corner of Paisano and Oregon Streets. (A family photo, above, shows him harvesting cucumbers.)

Fellow farmworker Pepe Martínez agreed. “Sí, una persona humilde como mi compadre lo hizo, ¿porqué no El Romney?”

Mas…Farmworker releases tax returns and asks ‘Where are Romney’s?’

Video Triple Feature! Cheech’s art + braceros + ‘Margarita’

Cheech Marin's 'Chicanitas'
'Harvest of Loneliness'
'Margarita'

Sabado Pochonte Triple Feature! Cheech Marin’s collection of “small Chicano paintings” lights up the documentary Chicanitas, the black and white history of braceros comes to life in Harvest of Loneliness and the classic poem by Ruben Dario shimmers in the wordless animated Margarita.

Mas…Video Triple Feature! Cheech’s art + braceros + ‘Margarita’

Operation Wet Parachute: U.S. to drop Mexican deportees from planes

Better than catapult-based deportee delivery systems

(PNS reporting from MEXICO CITY) In an effort to “adapt to current budget realities,” the Federales of Los United Estates will begin flying deported immigrants back to Mexico and dropping them from airplanes over their home states.

This plan, dubbed Operation Wet Parachute, is the brainchild of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano who said yesterday she got the idea while making margaritas and watching the film Point Break.

Mas…Operation Wet Parachute: U.S. to drop Mexican deportees from planes