Fabrik

Little light is shed on honest labor today. It is overlooked, forgotten and often dismissed in this entitled era of delirious wealth for the privileged few and lack of respect for those who play the fundamental roles that support society. Narsiso Martinez addresses the discriminatory treatment of field workers (braceros) and documents the undocumented struggles that need immediate attention. “I started to notice a lot of inequalities in the fields, like [only] a few porta potties to every hundred workers,” said Martinez. “We shouldn’t be going through this in this day and age.” He paints the workers’ narratives relying on memory from his experiences growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico. “My family’s goal was to have enough to eat,” said Martinez. “We didn’t really have time to dream.”

 

 

Martinez’s portraits of agricultural workers are painted or drawn on recycled produce boxes, meticulously transforming them into objects permeated with life. The artist’s exquisite technique is evident in his use of varied media, including charcoal pencils, ink washes and oil paints. By holding to an optimistic view of the coming years, Martinez continues to help expose the plight of workers, raising awareness of the circumstances of immigrants around the world. More info at www.brainworksgallery.com/narsiso-martinez.

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KIO GRIFFITH is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, graphic designer and writer based in Los Angeles and Yokohama, Japan. Griffith is currently project director at Art Bridge Institute and TYPE (Tokyo), co-founder of Genzou photojournal and IMMI magazine. He has exhibited extensively internationally and is currently working on a project for the next Setouchi Triennial. 

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