Friday, May 22, 2009
Trabajo y Tarea
In my recent work I have been incorporating imagery and scenes inspired by family and family life. Memories of my family’s past, as well as, recent experiences as a husband and father inform the paintings and prints that I create. I see the image portrayed in the oil painting submitted for the National Center for Farmworker Health’s annual poster as an extension of the same theme.
Both of my parents arrived as teenagers in the States during the mid-forties. They met and married at a farm in Texas and worked diligently in the fields to provide for their growing family. My parents saw education as a means for their children to elevate themselves from the difficult work in the fields. As we grew my father consistently stressed the importance of education to each of his children. Although he himself had only achieved a third grade education in Mexico, my father’s wish was that, at the very least, each of us would complete high school. My parent’s wish was fulfilled with each of their eleven children completing high school and some even continuing onto college degrees.
This image of a father and son in a field is an homage to my loving parents’ wish. The tired father, who has been working all day in the field, has been met by his young son, freshly off the school bus. I imagine the words the boy conveys about what he has learned in school that day as his father carries him on his shoulders high above the green fields in which the father toils day after day.
This painting “Trabajo y Tarea” Work and Task (or Homework) is dedicated to my parents,and especially, to my loving father who, at 80 years old, continues to give unselfishly and is my guiding example, inspiration and hero.
The two main figures in this painting were modeled by my cousin, Sergio Almanza, and my nephew, Diego Cesar Rodriguez-Reyna.
This work will soon be available for purchase on the National Center for Farmworker Health’s website as a giclee print and poster. Funds received go to the Migrant Health Scholarship Program.