A Teaser of Javi Ramirez’ Solo Booth @ Frieze Los Angeles with Sow & Tailor

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Sow & Tailor @ Frieze, Los Angeles // February 29, 2024 – March 03, 2024

Getting more into the swing of things during the LA art week, one of our current favorites in Los Angles is the painter Javi Ramirez. And he will be showing out big time with a solo booth at Frieze with the Sow & Tailor team. The new body of work will feature a suite of paintings and sculpture that explores a unique shared history of Angelino immigrant life. Ramirez’s presentation serves as a testament to Los Angeles, with a particular focus on the immigrant communities that have significantly shaped the city’s landscape – the suburban gardeners of LA. Through his practice, Ramirez delves into the gardening practices of both the Japanese and Latinos, shedding light on their profound influence on our city.

The Japanese, who brought their timeless gardening knowledge to the West Coast in the early 20th century, find their story artfully depicted in Ramirez’s work. Drawing from his own decade-long career as a bonsai gardener, Ramirez pays homage to the cultural exchange that has flourished in California soil. Ramirez is aware of the often overlooked contributions of Latino immigrants, specifically jardineros, who tirelessly maintain order in Los Angeles’s suburban neighborhoods. His work beautifully captures the essence of their labor and its impact on the city’s vibrant streets.

Ramirez’s work showcases an amalgamation of elements from Japanese and Latino aesthetics. In a brilliant fusion of cultures, a box-shaped structure reminiscent of Catholic shrines in Latino households finds resonance with Shinto pagodas from Japan. His sculptures, meticulously placed on pedestals following bonsai display principles, come to life with a harmony that mirrors the beauty of nature.

Ramirez’s paintings harness the visceral time-based quality of his chosen medium of acrylic paint through bold strokes and an attention to opacity and transparency, depicting the razor’s edge between faded memories and forgotten histories. Ranging from figurative to abstract approaches, Ramirez’s practice memorializes immigrant stories that are commonly ignored. Javier not only wants people to treasure the city we occupy but first and foremost honor and revere the generations and ancestries of the caretakers who tirelessly care for it.

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