Sunday, June 12, 2016


Hello people, I'm in Portsmouth, RI!

This week's arts and culture piece is about L.A. artist Ramiro Gomez.

Here's how it begins:

Marta was the cleaning lady of the woman who owned the house in Silver Lake — my roommate — where I lived from 2010 to 2014. Every other Wednesday, Marta arrived at noon and stayed until 8 p.m.

I myself have never had a cleaning lady. Even though Marta was younger than me, she triggered all the unresolved guilt and sorrow and pride I had for my own mother, who also never had a cleaning lady (that was with eight kids), for my bricklayer father and for the fact that I escaped the blue-collar life for the writing life.

Marta didn’t clean my little wing (bedroom/office and bathroom), but the whole time she was there I felt I should be asking if I could pitch in. I’d be sitting in my room with the fan on, a glass of iced tea and a basket of fresh figs writing about the Crucifixion while she was out in the blazing sun emptying the mop bucket.

Artist Ramiro Gomez was born in 1968 in San Bernardino to (then) undocumented parents from Mexico. His father drove trucks; his mother was a janitor at the same high school from which she’d graduated.

An introspective kid who showed talent in drawing early on, he adored his grandmother Nina, was “nannied” by his aunts and grandmother and himself frequently babysat for his sisters and cousins.

He won a partial scholarship to Cal Arts...


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