P·P·O·W is pleased to present a one-person booth of new sculptures and works on paper by Ramiro Gomez. Born in 1986 in San Bernardino, California to undocumented Mexican immigrants who have since become US citizens, Gomez briefly attended the California Institute for the Arts before leaving to work as a live-in nanny with a West Hollywood family. Informed by his childhood and subsequent time working in the Hollywood Hills, Gomez has since garnered critical acclaim for his work addressing issues of immigration and class division.
In his ongoing Magazine Series, Gomez renders the “invisible” visible, inserting representations of labor forces which build and maintain the pools, gardens, and mansions of America’s wealthiest classes onto the pages of glossy lifestyle magazines such as Galerie, Town and Country, Design within Reach, and Architectural Digest. Introduced to these periodicals during his time as a nanny, Gomez recalls, “The magazines looked like the very environments I was working in and I started feeling an interesting reaction to them. It was looking at these environments minus all the people I was working with. It was an erasure of us. So it became very clear what to add. It was this simple act. It was just inspired by saying, ‘I’m here. We exist.’”
Developing this series further, Gomez turns his eye toward not only representations of labor but representations of internal fantasies, dreams, and expressions of the self. Portraying his figures as talented and necessary, Gomez unlocks powerful narrative possibilities that are usually suppressed in visual culture. Presented alongside life-size cardboard sculptures of people who construct and maintain an annual art fair, this presentation exposes the ontology of eraser whichs pervades the commercial art world. Now that his own work can be found in prominent collections and upscale magazines, Gomez has been compelled to acknowledge how he and his art are elevated by a capitalist system built on expunging the workforce that maintains it.
Ramiro Gomez (b. 1986) lives and works in West Hollywood, CA. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the University of Michigan, Institute for the Humanities and the West Hollywood Public Library, as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Gomez recently presented Here, For a Moment at Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, his third solo exhibition with the gallery. His work has been included in group exhibitions at LACMA, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, the MFA Houston, the Blanton Museum of Art, and many other institutions. In 2016, Gomez was the subject of Domestic Scenes – The Art of Ramiro Gomez, a monograph by Lawrence Weschler, published by Abrams. Gomez’s work has been featured or reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, Artforum, The Atlantic, CNN, National Public Radio, CARLA, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, LA Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, Hyperallergic, and others. His work is in the collections of LACMA, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Denver Art Museum, the MCA San Diego, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the Nerman Museum, and the Museum of Latin American Art, among others.