Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series
Mario Ybarra, Jr. creates sculptures, installations, photographs, and activist interventions as a means of examining various components of Mexican-American identity. His aesthetic often combines street culture iconography with historical and political imagery, such as in Brown and Proud (2006), which depicts Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in a large-scale work that merges graffiti art with a style recalling the work of muralist Diego Rivera. Ybarra also draws from quintessentially American imagery and popular culture, such as in Scarface Museum (2007), which features paraphernalia from the famous 1983 film Scarface (about a drug cartel kingpin during the 1980s cocaine boom) displayed in a glass vitrine as a memorial to one of the artist’s late friends.
Mario Ybarra Jr.’s recent solo exhibitions include Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara; and the Institute of Chicago. Ybarra was included in the recent Made in L.A., organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Invisible Cities at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, the 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York, The World as a Stage at the Tate Modern in London and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA, and Alien Nation at the Institute of Contemporary Art London. He organized Possible Worlds at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with Karla Diaz and Slanguage Studio.