Ramiro Gomez says he’s wanted to place his cardboard paintings of Latino domestic workers and gardeners in front of locations that President Obama has visited but it’s just never worked out.
But this time around it was different.
Obama is expected to arrive in Los Angeles Thursday evening to attend a fundraiser at George Clooney’s house off Laurel Canyon in the Studio City area. Less than a mile away from where Gomez himself is a domestic worker by day.
Gomez, 25, who identifies as a “male nanny,” says he didn’t have to work too hard within his network to find Clooney’s address.
“Every other piece I’ve done has been on a non-news day but today is a busy day,” Gomez told Colorlines.com as he was putting his pieces up on a cross-street leading up to Clooney’s home.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that the 150-person guest list includes the likes of Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey Jr., and Tobey Maguire. With tickets reportedly going for $40,000 each, a conservative estimate for tonight’s fundraiser is $6 million.
Several gardeners’ trucks along with dozens of valet and catering staff that will work the fundraiser tonight drove passed Gomez’s work while I was present. In fact, a white van transporting the staff up the hills picked up workers right in front of Gomez’s work.
“George Clooney being so in favor of rights in Africa and other social issues, I would hope that he understands there are issues at home too,” Gomez went on to say.
Gomez hopes Obama sees his art because it’s a perspective that’s been informed by his experience growing up in San Bernardino, County with parents who immigrated from Michoacán and Jalisco, Mexico.
“Gomez’s work is making undocumented workers visible. Their humanity can’t be ignored. President Obama and his partygoers need to be reminded of this,” said Mónica Novoa, Campaign Coordinator of the Drop the I-Word campaign.
“There are no ‘lawn fairies,’ ‘fresh produce fairies’ or ‘caregiver fairies’ that magically appear. Human beings are making our lives work. Its time for society and this administration to do right by them,” Novoa went on to say.
One of the gardeners pictured on Gomez’s painting held a sign that read “We are all Americans.”
Novoa says that’s a true statement.
“Migrating is a U.S. value. People have been migrating on this land looking for better opportunities throughout history. Our laws need to reflect this value and this reality.”
To read more about Gomez and his work visit Colorlines.com’s profile of him published yesterday and watch the video below.