Odessa (2012-2013)
Taken from a year-long documentary project, Los Ruferos and Odessa portray members of my family who have worked in construction most of their lives. This project follows my parents, both house painters in rural Odessa, a west Texas city that has recently undergone tremendous economic growth and development. In this vein, the city has seen the growth of a Latino community to meet its construction needs. The project captures my parents at various work sites and at their changing residence, as they strive to build a home on a plot of land on the outskirts of the city. Collectively, alongside the Ruferos project, the photographs aim to provide insight into the ethnic and cultural dimensions of what blue-collar work might mean in contemporary America, and tenaciously to identify the people at its center. They are a lens through which I examine class division, Latino immigrant identity, and the strenuous attempts made at social mobility by people on the margin.