Sunday, November 21, 2010
People With No Names - The Undocumented #39
"Lettuce Pickers" oil on canvas 15x21". I was flying from the N.W to the S.W. last Monday and noticed an article in the airline magazine about Yuma, Arizona being the 'lettuce capitol of the world'. The article showed pictures of people eating gourmet luches right IN the fields...lunches of fresh greens and veggies. Food ingredients, that they had selected during pre-lunch tours, magically appeared on their plates. The article was trying to drum up more foodie tourism and the photos looked very Napa-ish. The promoters claim that rigorous care is taken to keep the fields "clean and uncontaminated"..."if a dog wanders into a particular field, they don't harvest it". Which brings me to my painting. In a small, far-away photo, showing lettuce pickers, the caption claims that it takes 40,000 pickers a day to keep up with the lettuce harvest!!! ERK! I quickly read and reread the article...hoping for info on these 40,000 workers. There is no info. They are clearly beside the point. I want to know where they come from. I want to know if Cesar Chavez's workers rights are protecting them. I want to know if their living conditions are hygenic...because they want only the "cleanest" conditions in their fields.