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(c) Jay Lynn Gomez, Photo: Osceola Refetoff
Jay Lynn Gomez (American, born 1986), No Splash (after David Hockney's A Bigger Splash, 1967), acrylic on canvas, 96 x 96 inches, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles. Permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
Exhibition
Jan 23, 2023
throughApr 21, 2023

Jay Lynn Gomez: Domestic Scenes Reconsidered

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Jay Lynn Gomez brings a captivating experience to the narratives of love, intimacy, and work through irreverence and empowerment. The artist makes visible the invisible labor of caretaking, housekeeping, and landscaping. This exhibition considers social reflection on the symbolic and material realities of the immigrant workforce and its stereotypical representations. Through intertextuality with iconic works by Hockney, Matisse, and Manet, the images speak to and about the perceptions of class, gender, and belonging intersections.

Jay Lynn Gomez was born in 1986 in San Bernardino, California to undocumented Mexican immigrant parents who have since become U.S. citizens. She briefly attended the California Institute for the Arts before leaving to work as a live-in nanny, an experience that informed her subsequent artistic practice. Gomez’s work is known for addressing issues of immigration and showing a different perspective on labor forces that keep our homes, yards, and pools in pristine condition.

Gomez’s artwork has been shown at MCA Chicago, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Denver Art Museum, MFA Houston, and Museum of Latin American Art among others.

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by Karina Vazquez, Director of Spanish Community-Based Learning Program, Department of Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies, University of Richmond, and Martha Wright, Assistant Curator of Academic and Public Engagement, University Museums. The exhibition and programs are made possible in part with support from the Tucker Boatwright Festival Nuestra America/Our America.

About the exhibit

Jay Lynn Gomez: Domestic Scenes Reconsidered is on view in the Harnett Museum of Art through April 21. Gomez’ art focuses on the “invisible” labor of care-taking, housekeeping, and landscaping reflecting on the immigrant workforce in the U.S. and its stereotypical representations in visual culture.

Custodial services staff at the University of Richmond played a key role in the latest museum exhibition, and their involvement had nothing to do with keeping the space beautiful.

The Department of Latin American, Latino & Iberian Studies and University Museums asked custodial staff for their input on an exhibition by Latinx artist Jay Lynn Gomez focusing on the value of domestic workers. Staff shared their impressions on the art and its layout, and provided comments and opinions that were integrated into the exhibition’s educational initiatives, catalogue, and informational panels. 

 “Colloborating with facilities employees offered an opportunity for talking about the vital energy involved in a work that implies much more than keeping up cleanliness and beauty of physical spaces, and for exploring the meanings of work and working time,” said exhibition co-curator Karina Vázquez, director of UR’s Spanish Community-Based Learning Program.

Gomez was born in 1986 in San Bernardino, California to undocumented Mexican immigrant parents who have since become U.S. citizens. She briefly attended the California Institute for the Arts before leaving to work as a live-in nanny, an experience that informed her subsequent artistic practice. Gomez’s work is known for addressing issues of immigration and showing a different perspective on labor forces that keep our homes, yards, and pools in pristine condition. Her artwork has been shown at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Latin American Art

 “Gomez’ art is an educational tool to better understand social reality,” said Vázquez. “Her canvases are an invitation to reflect on the societal meanings of love/care, domesticity, and work.”