(b. Tijuana, Mexico, 1965; lives and works in Los Angeles, California).
Born in La Colonia Libertad neighborhood of Tijuana, Huerta came to Southern California at the age of four and grew up in Boyle Heights, attending Pasadena’s Art Center of Design and earning an MFA from UCLA graduate school. Huerta’s brightly painted, meticulously rendered portraits of people seated or standing looking directly away from the viewer are fraught with tension, provoking viewers to become acutely aware of the reciprocal relationship. His work depicting vibrant paintings depicting lower-middle class homes are social, as well as aesthetic, commentaries on the upper-class concepts of beauty and its relation to class and social standing. He adds, "I got the idea from visiting a jail in Watts and seeing a nearby housing project that was so remodeled, it looked like something from the ’Truman Show.’ Maybe if you beautify the community, it would solve the problems." Huerta works primarily in representational painting, distilling elements of classicism with a modern social and cultural scrutiny.
Huerta’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Select solo exhibitions include Mask, Patrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CA (2008); Portrait of a Friend, Patricia Faure Gallery, Los Angeles (2005); and New Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, London (2001). In addition, he has exhibited in a number of group exhibitions, including A Strange New World, Tijuana and the Santa Monica Museum of Art (2007); Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2002); and The Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000). Huerta’s works are also included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS; and the Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA. His work as been discussed in Art in America, Art Limited, Art News, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Huerta is represented by Patrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CA.
In this 2001 interview in his Van Nuys home, Huerta and curator Bill Kelley Jr speak about his then sudden rise to fame, his meticulous painting technique and his interest in researching color.