Monday, October 31, 2011

New Exhibit @ 555 California Street!

This is a series of acrylic studies for a larger, more extensive body of work. Agricultural labor was the career of both my grandfathers. Each owned a farm: one in Nebraska and the other in Puerto Rico. I was raised in California and these paintings represent my extension of that legacy. Actually, everyone is related to agriculture since we all eat, but as small farms continue to disappear, we are becoming increasingly oblivious to the process by which food gets to our tables.
A drive in any direction from San Francisco ultimately features a landscape dotted with laborers in fields of one crop or another. What I find underneath the ruffling blanket of its politics is a beauty and clarity defined by the act of working the land. Stooped for hours in the sun, field labor is connected to the earth in an arduous and robust way that very few Americans experience. It's real and tangible. It's a ceaseless effort of gritty physicality. It's familiar and timeless, like the soil itself. It's everywhere and always. Right now, there are hands reaching, pulling and fully extending themselves for a necessary purpose. Bodies of all ages perform a backbreaking dance that can only be done by hand. We are all of the earth and dependent upon it, just as we are dependent upon those human hands that work it.