The Fruits of Our Labor

Project Description

“The Fruit of Our Labor,” a new mural located in Mount Eden, was painted by the community’s youth in order to improve the public’s perspective on agricultural and food workers. The young artists explored the various exploitations food workers are subject to by observing grocers and food markets. It was evident that the prejudice against those in the food industry is a negative byproduct of the country’s history and culture, not a result of their own actions. The food industry’s origin is characterized by slavery and injustice, considered the catalyst for the bias against food workers.
The mural utilizes various symbols in order to narrate the influence of the “food chain” on various communities. The food chain is a phrase used to denote the agricultural process from cultivation to consumption. The mural is separated into two distinct, yet aesthetically parallel, pieces; the food chain displayed in the piece is broken across the two as a criticism of the slavery that existed throughout the founding of the United States’ agricultural industry. The butterflies dispersed throughout the mural symbolize the United States’ employment of immigrant workers for cultivation, as well as represent the nature of the community of the South Bronx. The mural was installed as method to promote a public dialogue considering the negative aspects of the food chain and its effects on members of the community in order to inspire empathy and activism.

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Project Info

Fun Facts

The design of the mural was influenced by Matisse and Henri Rousseau, artists of the nineteenth century.
Fun Fact
The models portrayed in the mural are residents of the South Bronx, chosen to represent the community’s diversity.
“Compositional symmetry was used to unite the two pieces aesthetically and also thematically to promote the idea of equality.” - Lead Artist Jose de Jesus Rodriguez