Rubén Ortiz Torres|
(b. Mexico City, 1964) Llives and works in Los Angeles and Mexico City.
Ortiz Torres studied visual arts and graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, UNAM, in Mexico City. In 1990 he obtained a Fulbright scholarship to study at the California Institute of the Arts, where he received an MFA. Employing a diverse array of artistic practices including photography, video, film, installation and painting, Ortiz explores areas of cultural intersection and interrelations between Mexico and US and resulting hybrid aesthetics. Dissolving distinctions between "high" and "low" art, Ortiz employs icons and emblems from popular culture and manipulates them to address the many levels of exchange between art, society, politics, economics, and culture between these two countries. Ortiz’s work draws on numerous visual sources from both countries including sports imagery, pictures of popular Mexican nationalist heroes such as Zapata, Disney cartoon characters, punk culture
Ortiz-Torres is widely regarded as one of today's leading Mexican artists and as an innovator in the 1980s of a specifically Mexican form of postmodernism. Over the past ten years, he has produced a body of work in a wide range of media -- extended series of photographs, series of altered readymades, a feature film, several videos (including three in 3D), large scale video installations, major painting series, sculptures, customized cars and machines, photocollages, performances and curated exhibitions. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MoCA), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), and many others, both private and public. In conjunction with The San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, Ortiz-Torres has written an essay for the forthcoming anthology Punkademics, edited by Zack Furness.
In this interview from 2000 - one of the first interviews published on LatinArt.com - curator Bill Kelley Jr. speaks to Ortiz Torres about his love of the baroque, Latin American formalism, and his interest in Chicano culture.
Bio sources: www.ucsd.edu, www.sdmart.org