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American Dreams

Portraits of the Unseen Domestic Laborers Behind L.A.'s Mansions

Sep 14, 2015 | 4 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Ramiro Gomez's parents are Mexican immigrants—his mother works as a janitor and his father is a Costco truck driver. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, he was always aware of the invisibility of the area's domestic laborers. Now, as an artist represented by the Charlie James Gallery, Gomez paints these workers and places their figures in scenes of L.A. luxury. "It's my interest to showcase the other side of things, the more real side that I see, which is the people maintaining those mansions," he says in this documentary produced by Kelly Loudenberg for The Atlantic's American Dreams series. "I hope that these paintings showcase that their labor meant something to me and it meant something to society."

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Short documentaries about visions of success in the U.S.