Otero Fuentes

CS 4 2

Lissy is in Heaven

4”Ø  //  Concrete; Pigment  //  2019
Two part sphere.

On 4/16/19 a young woman, named Lissy Rodriguez, passed away at age the young age of 31.

Lissy was from Dominican Republic and a resident of Brooklyn. She was cheerful, kind-hearted and an amazing single-mother.

She used to work as a Breakfast Attendant at a hotel in Soho. While working there, Lissy was the first smile a guest would see in the morning as she served them with grace. She was hard-worker and respected amongst her coworkers.

As many service workers, they were paid poverty wages, the health insurance coverage the employer offered them was unaffordable, they were not treated with dignity and respect by the employer so when workers decided to fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions, and organize the union, it was no surprise that Lissy was one of the leaders amongst her coworkers. As the workers organized, management launched a vicious anti-union campaign with intimidation tactics that she fearlessly withstood along with her coworkers.

She was a fighter who had raised her 10 year-old daughter, Daisy, by herself and was looking for a better future for the two. Leukemia took her life after contracting a virus during a transplant operation.

Although she couldn’t move nor talk and the sickness was eating her life away, the last days of her time in this plane she spent fighting with grace as she had always. We could only wonder if Lissy’s life could have been saved if her employer would had provided good and affordable health care to his workers. This is an example of how greed manifests itself. When wealth accumulation is more important than providing healthcare to those who help your wealth grow. It is disgusting.

While now she might not be in this physical plane amongst us, Lissy left behind a smart young girl that at a very young age learned the importance of knowledge and fighting for your rights. Daisy is part of her school honors group and her favorite hobby is to devoir books and learn.

She planted a seed in this world and there is hope. There is Daisy.

(Note: To this date, Lissy’s former employer has spent millions in legal fees fighting against his employees and has yet to provide a living wage and affordable health care to his workers).
(text by Arisha Sierra)--
This is a sculpture in the memory of Lissy. I tend to lite a candle at the studio when I work, but that day I let Arisha light the candle for whatever she wanted to wish. She dedicated the candle to Lissy - who had just passed. Weeks after that event, I looked at the candle and was amazed with what I saw. There was a crowd of angels marked around the candle walls. I felt that Lissy had reached Heaven, and that those were the angels celebrating her arrival. Lissy, may your soul rest in peace.