Curated by Erika Hirugami, MAAB.
The migratory realities of the farm workers whose labor sustains the United States' agricultural economy relies on millions of people countrywide; often undocumented men, women, and children working extensive hours each day to make a meager living wage. Seasonal human migration affects the lives of over half a million children as young as eleven years old legally working on US farms under dangerous conditions, day by day risking their lives as well as their physical and emotional health.
Artist Lino Martinez chooses to focus his latest body of work "Campesinos y Colores," on the harsh realities phased by the Latinx farming communities of the United States today. By featuring children in many of the works of this series, he simultaneously denounces his concerned with labor politics and the lack of a sustainable future for this community in this country.
By borrowing imagery from the Depression-era as commissioned by the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s, Martinez juxtaposes two different realities in time. In referencing historical context within his body of work, Martinez acknowledges the past. By infusing it with the presence of Chicano labor leaders and civil rights activists he brings the conversation to the forefront of the Latinx community, to provoke a dialogue about policy, sustainability, and the socio-political concerns associated with the agriculture economy of this nation, and the effects it has on the Latinx migratory farming community.
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Exhibition in partnership with Museum of Ventura County • Opening June 15, 2019
Museum of Agriculture • Exhibition on view June 15 - August 31, 2019.