The American artist shows two installations: Silver and Blacks, a series of works on paper and an installation with an ongoing activity of Ybarra's studio in which customized t-shirts and hats will be sold. He belongs to a new generation of artists of Mexican-American descent, who do not reject their identity and origin against a background of social exclusion but embrace both of the trajectories in their backgrounds.
During Berlin’s art weekend this spring, on Friday, April 30, 2010, Galerie Michael Janssen will be presenting a selection of Mario Ybarra Jr.’s recent works. In his first solo exhibition at the gallery, the American artist will show two installations: Silver and Blacks, a series of works on paper with both abstract and figurative works and an installation with an ongoing activity of Ybarra‘s studio in which customized t-shirts and hats will be sold. Born in Los Angeles in 1973 and a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Ybarra’s biography is key to understanding his work, which draws attention to forms of culture on the fringe of the mainstream revealing hidden histories within their contexts. His Mexican roots permeate his engagement with the phenomena of contemporary art, street culture and social reality.
Mario Ybarra Jr. was brought up in Wilmington near the Los Angeles harbor, where he still lives and works. At a young age he became familiar with the political actions of the dockworkers and their aesthetic sensibility. He belongs to a new generation of artists of Mexican-American descent, who do not reject their identity and origin against a background of social exclusion but embrace both of the trajectories in their backgrounds. Ybarra appropriates and parodies an American mainstream culture that frequently sees itself as hegemonic by fusing low and highbrow culture into critical and ironic installations.
In 2002, together with artist Karla Diaz, Ybarra founded the art collective Slanguage which operates through multidisciplinary, non-object-based practices. Focusing on art education, Slanguage has fostered the dialogue about the meaning and value of contemporary art and has cultivated relationships between diverse artists, students, communities and organizations by creating artworks that have ranged from multimedia installations to performances, public events and workshops.
Ybarra has won broad international recognition for his site-specific urban interventions that bring to light little-known aspects of a particular location’s cultural history, such as his solo exhibition at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco (2007), as well his contributions to the Whitney Museum of Modern Art (Whitney Biennial), New York (2008), the Prague Biennale 3 (2007), the Tate Modern (2007) and the Serpentine Gallery (2006), both in London.
Opening April 30, 6 pm - 9 pm
Galerie Michael Janssen
Rudi-Dutschke-Str, 26 Berlin
hours: Tue - Sat 11 - 6 pm