Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man: Works by Rubén Ortiz-Torres draws largely from his earlier works, inspired by the Mexico City punk scene of the early 80s and 90s—when punk music was deemed too radical for the airwaves and concert halls.
In addition to drawings and video, the show includes photos from his MexiPunx series that illustrate the artist’s close ties to his subjects and the anti-establishment aesthetic.
Ortiz-Torres, a longtime professor of Visual Arts at the University of California San Diego, began his career as a photographer, printmaker and painter, but has over the years produced bodies of work in a variety of media including film and video, sculptures, customized cars and machines, and performance.
His work has been included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, among others.
In conjunction with the the San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, Ortiz-Torres has contributed an essay to Punkademics, a forthcoming anthology-meets-academic study of punk, edited by Zach Furniss.