My works are based on my personal experience with the agricultural industry. I grew up in an agricultural environment and I’ve been connected to the fields since I was a kid. As an artist and a farmworker, I conceived of a project that involved a non-traditional collaboration with industrial printers. Influenced by masters such as Millet, Van Gogh, and Siqueiros, I attempted to start a dialog with the food industry by contrasting the agribusiness with its laborers. I chose agricultural workers and drew them on produce cardboard boxes collected from different grocery stores, and this was the beginning of this project.

Working in the fields for many years has made me realize that there is a big difference between the lifestyles of the workers and that of the agribusiness owners. The majority of the farmworkers live in an economic struggle every day to sustain their families and to provide them with the basics.  Meanwhile, the plantations keep multiplying and the owners are provided with a life of luxuries and unnecessary commodities. I aim to contrast the disparities of lifestyles between workers and owners through the usage of symbols, some found on the used boxes and others produced through the art-making process.

Through the juxtaposition of produce labels printed on found grocery boxes and the portraits of agricultural workers on those boxes, I attempt to create unique compositions that allow me to reflect on the disparities of social lifestyles and questionable economic systems that contribute to it.

Narsiso Martinez