Rubén Ortiz Torres


Based in Los Angeles, Rubén Ortiz Torres is a Mexican-born artist influenced by the punk scene in Mexico City during the eighties and part of the nineties. From these influences, his work shows a clear relationship with the theme of anarchism working out from various media such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, film and video, from which the artist demonstrates extensive technical skills . Ortiz Torres’ exhibition Bandera Negra creates a dialogue between art and politics; recuperating the historical revolutionary motto conceived by Ricardo Flores Magón: “Earth and Freedom”, to create its first representation standards: a chain of flags associated with the anarchic glimpses that allow the survival of political minority standpoints in contemporary society. He also takes the time to explore Chicano culture through various works, including his shopping cart sculpture, entitled Collector’s Backyard Boogie; an abandoned shopping cart customized with paint, gold-plating, chroming, and hydraulics, that transforms into a seductive and dynamic work that references the urban car culture of Southern California. Ruben Ortiz Torres began his career as a photographer, printmaker, and painter in the early 1980s, well before he received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of Arts in 1992. Since 1982, Ortiz Torres’s work has been featured in 25 solo exhibitions, over 100 group shows in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and more than 50 screenings of his films and video works. Over 150 written pieces cover his work in mainstream media such as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Reforma (Mexico), La Jornada (Mexico), and El Pais (Spain). Ortiz Torres has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants from, to name a few, the Andrea Frank Foundation, the Foundations for Contemporary Performance Art, the U.S. Mexico Fund for Culture, and the Fulbright Foundation.