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Domestic Scenes: The Art of Ramiro Gomez

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Award-winning author Lawrence Weschler’s book on the young Mexican American artist Ramiro Gomez explores questions of social equity and the chasms between cultures and classes in America.

Gomez, born in 1986 in San Bernardino, California, to undocumented Mexican immigrant parents, bridges the divide between the affluent wealthy and their usually invisible domestic help—the nannies, gardeners, housecleaners, and others who make their lifestyles possible—by inserting images of these workers into sly pastiches of iconic David Hockney paintings, subtly doctoring glossy magazine ads, and subversively slotting life-size painted cardboard cutouts into real-life situations.

Domestic Scenes engages with Gomez and his work, offering an inspiring vision of the purposes and possibilities of art.


“What a fortuitous meeting of artists this book is: Gomez’s parents are working-class Mexican immi­grants, and their lives, along with Gomez’s own years working as a nanny, inform his powerful assertions, both in his paintings and on the streets of Los Angeles, of the importance of the ignored: the workers who make everything in Lotus Land work. Weschler, who has the journalist’s eye, the art-history chops, and the writer’s feel for narrative required to make all of this come alive, is inspired to produce some of his finest work. The result is aesthetic and intellectual delight punctuated by clarifying jabs of outrage.”
William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
“I can’t remember the last time—if ever—that I read about an artist and had the overwhelming urge to give them a hug. Not to mention the writer.”
Liza Lou, artist
“Ramiro Gomez’s body of work is absolutely essential in documenting our era, and Lawrence Weschler, wide-eyed and astute as ever, brings us closer to the artist, illuminating the context—the art world and the real world—upon which Gomez so brilliantly comments.”
Dave Eggers, author and founder of Mcsweeney’s
“Ramiro Gomez and Lawrence Weschler have crea­ted a gorgeous book that illuminates the networks of hygiene, immigration, class and race lying just outside the picture plane: proof that great artists can change the way we see the world, and great writers can change the way we see art.”
Fred Tomaselli, artist
“Once again, Lawrence Weschler, the ever-probing reporter and champion of creative process, has set his sight on a rich and unique artistic enterprise: the work of LA artist Ramiro Gomez. This should be required reading for anyone interested in the place where the highest values of aesthetics and social engagement meet most potently.”
Bill T. Jones, choreographer & founding artistic director New York Live Arts


LA-born Lawrence Weschler is the award-winning author of Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (about Robert Irwin), True to Life (about David Hockney), Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders, and Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, among many others. He lives in New York City.