Domingo Ulloa, born Pomona, CA 1919-died El Centro, CA 1997 Search this
oil on masonite
36 × 49 in. (91.4 × 124.5 cm)
Domingo Ulloa painted this canvas after several visits to a Bracero camp in Holtville, California. The Bracero Program (1942-64) was a bi-national effort that brought Mexican guest workers, known as braceros, to fill in agricultural labor shortages caused by World War II. Ulloa's crowd of workers, who peer dejectedly through a barbed-wire fence, reinforce the mounting public protest against their poor living and working conditions. His composition recalls photographs of concentration camp inmates, which Ulloa--a World War II veteran--was familiar with. Ulloa later stated, "Most of my paintings are inspired by the common people in their work, in their joy, and their struggle."