We Paint Houses
“We paint houses” is a participatory project that takes the form of a temporary business established by Colombian artist Felipe Castelblanco and Latino laborers living in the U.S. In the first version of this project the group offered to paint people’s houses within the city of Portland, Oregon using local media and street advertisement. However, instead of painting the walls of the houses, artist and laborers create fine art paintings — on canvas — of the façades of the buildings, while engaging customers/audiences in a situation that re-imagines the act of exchange, service and labor. A temporary art studio (with easels, canvases and palettes) emerges on the streets as the group creates the paintings.
This performance explores mistranslation, misrepresentation and labor, while seeking to produce contentious encounters between locals and immigrants, workers and artists.