Altar to a Dream
Retracing the journeys taken in pursuit of the American Dream
Nomadic laborers have sustained American agriculture for decades. In this colorful homage, a vintage car becomes a symbol of the arduous paths taken by these workers and their families, of what is left behind and what is carried forward.
Drawing from his personal and family history, Ramirez’s Altar to a Dream expresses the experience of migrant populations as a central focus. Using his signature bright colors, murals, readymade objects, and neon, he creates both an homage and a space of worship out of the artifacts common to this journey. While his memories are personal, they reflect the risky journey so many immigrants take to fulfill their dreams of a better life in America.
The vehicle’s bodywork is covered in text, drawings and mixed-media ephemera, with a stack of personal effects on the roof. The whole piece will ultimately be encased in a vitrine, presenting these everyday objects as archeological artifacts, encouraging us to see them not as detritus but as sacred items of great cultural value, each representing a unique story.