New Gallery Showcases “Superheroes: Latino Immigrants Who Make New York”

November 27, 2012

Spider-man clings to the side of a building, cleaning windows; Wonder Woman does a load of laundry; and Superman delivers take-out. These are just some of the images in "Superheroes: Latino Immigrants Who Make New York," the inaugural exhibit at Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race’s new gallery in 420 Hamilton Hall.

The works are part of a larger series by Mexico-born artist Dulce Pinzón, who has photographed Mexican and Central American immigrants wearing superhero costumes as they perform their often menial jobs around New York City. Her goal is to pay homage to those Latino workers who sacrifice and labor in their day-to-day lives here in the U.S. in order to help their families and communities back home survive and prosper. Each photo is accompanied by a description of their jobs and the amount of money they send home, generally $200 to $500 each week.

The new gallery’s mission is to mount a series of exhibits on themes central to the center’s areas of interest, which include immigration, citizenship, labor, race and ethnicity. Pinzon’s work, “offers insight into the importance of immigrant Latinos to the city’s economy,” writes Frances Negron-Muntaner, the center’s executive director, in the exhibition catalog. It is “doing what compelling inquiry does regardless of medium and genre: changing how and what we see.”

The exhibit opened Nov. 8, and is on view through May 15, 2013. For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race website.

—Story by Columbia News Staff
—Video by Columbia News Video Team