Jorge Rodriguez Gerada was born in Cuba in 1966 and immigrated to the US in 1970. He was a founding member of the Artflux group and part of the Cicada Corps of Artists. In 2002 he started creating large-scale charcoal portraits of anonymous people as part of his Identity Series. In 2008 there was wide media coverage of his large 2 1/2 acre sand painting of Barack Obama. Following is a brief description of Gerada's goal:
My idea is to show that we should all be seen with dignity. I believe that our identity should come from within not from the brands that we wear. We should question who chooses our cultural icons and role models, our values and aesthetics.