Rubén Ortiz Torres: MEXIPUNX
September 06 – 24, 2018
Opening: Thursday, September 06, 2018, 7:30 pm
Páramo is pleased to present MEXIPUNX—a solo exhibition of early works by Mexican-born, Los Angeles-based artist Rubén Ortiz Torres (b. 1964). The exhibition is guest curated by Laureana Toledo and organized in collaboration with Doña Pancha.
Special Event: Roundtable Conversation between Rubén Ortiz Torres, Daniel Guzmán and Dr. Juan Vargas. September 06, 2018, 7:30 pm
Originally exhibited in 1984 at the Mexican Council of Photography as part of a series titled Jesús y los Mutantes, MEXIPUNX is a project that intimately documents the punk scene in Mexico City in the 1980’s. More so, this series of photographs traces how the subculture became a formative influence in the development of the artist’s own creative identity.
As both a participant in the punk scene and a visual artist, Ortiz Torres’s works differ widely from the photojournalist documentation of punk youth and function instead like a personal visual essay that narrates his own experiences within the subculture. What emerges from this body of work is an image of punk not as a musical genre but rather as a cultural phenomenon that is at once local and global. This exhibition encompasses an expanded presentation of this body of work. Alongside the iconic photographs, a series of seldomly seen drawings the artist made of subjects and a selection of Super8 videos will also be included. Together, these works give deeper insights into this important historical moment and into the early work and practice of this renowned artist.
About the artist
Rubén Ortiz Torres was born in Mexico City in 1964. Educated within the utopian models of Spanish republican anarchism, he soon confronted the tragedies and cultural clashes of the post-colonial third world. After giving up the dream of playing baseball in the major leagues, he decided to study art. He first attended one of the oldest art schools in the Americas—the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City—and later one of the newest and more experimental—CalArts in Valencia, CA. After enduring Mexico City’s earthquake and pollution, he moved to LA with a Fulbright grant to survive riots, fires, floods, more earthquakes, and Proposition 187. During all this, he has been able to produce artwork in the form of paintings, photographs, objects, installations, videos, and films. He is part of the permanent Faculty of the University of California, San Diego. He has participated in several international exhibitions and film festivals. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and others.
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Páramo would like to extend its gratitude to Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, Amigos del Lago y del CFMAB, Laureana Toledo, Doña Pancha Fest, Casa Fayette and Tequila 1800 Cristalino for their collaborative support.
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