Cool People: Ramiro Gomez, artist

I’ve been meaning to start a profile-type series for a while and I figure I might as well dive right into it. It’s interesting and inspiring to hear what other people are up to. Instead of waiting until all my ducks are in a row and the timing is perfect, I’m starting now with this first installment of a new series of profiles. Find out more about the Cool People series.

Ramiro Gomez Jr. standing next to one of his cardboard cutouts

Although I didn’t get a chance to do a question and answer session (recently) with cool person Ramiro Gomez Jr., I decided to write about him first any way. Here’s why: He has an art gallery in LA right now that you should totally check out before you miss your chance. Also, he’s way more popular than when I first met him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a household name.

Almost two years ago, I met Ramiro in a small music venue in LA called Perhspace where he was having his art exhibited. I loved his work right away and took little shitty pictures of his drawings with my iPhone as I walked around. I wish I still had those pictures to show you, but they’re probably saved on my old laptop that won’t turn on. I was there on a first date and about to see my now boyfriend and his band Wonder Wheel play. But that’s another story for another time.

When I needed an article idea for a magazine class a few months later, I decided a profile on Ramiro would be perfect. Unfortunately, I chose not to interview him in person because I had little time and no car. So we talked on the phone about his education, family, inspiration, work and how it all influences his art.

Maria's paycheck
“Maria’s paycheck,” by Ramiro Gomez

I went to what I think was my fourth Ramiro Gomez exhibit yesterday at the Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown.  At that show at Perhspace, he was exhibiting Rose Gardens, which was more focused on pop culture than his Happy Hills series. Since 2011, the majority of his work has been focused on the predominantly Hispanic workforce who work hard behind the scenes to maintain the look and life of luxury in Los Angles. His work includes cardboard cutouts, magazine paintings and other paintings. No matter the subject or the medium, his work is the kind that makes people stop, stare and reevaluate the space around them.

His work and the inspiration behind it is inspired by personal experience. After leaving the California Institute of Art and Design, Ramiro worked as a nanny in Beverly Hills where he keenly observed the relationships around him. The 20-something Mexican-American artist began to document what he sees and make the invisible stand out.

Los Olvidados
“Los Olvidados,” by Ramiro Gomez Jr.

In July 2012, he traveled to the Arizona desert to install a special series of cardboard cutouts. As Ramiro states on his Desert Project website, “The Desert Project is my way of honoring those who have made, as well as those who never completed, the treacherous trip through the unforgiving desert.”

Portrait of an affluent family
“Portrait of an affluent family,” by Ramiro Gomez

Ramiro has been featured in multiple publications, including the Los Angles Times, NPR, Policy Mic and The Huffington Post. Recently, he was chosen as one of 25 Artists to watch by Artvoices Magazine. In fact, Ramiro last week Ramiro stated on Facebook that with all the attention “Portrait of an affluent magazine” has received lately, it reached the man who is pictured with his family. The man is a designer and said he loves Ramiro’s work.

Domestic Scenes, his first solo art exhibit, opened last night at The Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown and will be on display until February 15.

You can see Ramiro Gomez Jr.’s work on his website. You can also find him on his Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

I would love to hear what you have to say. Leave me a comment and I'll try to write back soon.

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