Rubén Ortiz-Torres was born in 1964 in Mexico City, Mexico. He received his BFA in visual arts from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Mexico City, and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, where he earned his MFA in 1992. Working in various media, Ortiz-Torres has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally. Exhibitions and screenings include the Galería de Arte Contemporaneo, Galería OMR, and Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, Mexico; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Getty Center for the History of Art & the Humanities, Los Angeles, CA; Museo Nacional Centro Cultural La Raza, San Diego, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; SITE Santa Fe, NM; and, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, TX.
Ortiz-Torres’s work has been collected by such prominent institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, and the New York Public Library, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Grunwald Art Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA Hammer Museum of Art & Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Mexican Museum of Fine Arts, Chicago, IL; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.
Ortiz-Torres has received numerous recognitions and awards for his art including grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (2000), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1999), Andrea Frank Foundation Award (1997), and a TVVS, PBS shared grant (1993). The artist has written abundantly on contemporary art and culture. Recent co-authored books include Customized: Art Inspired by Hot Rods, Low Riders and American Car Culture (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, New York, 2000) and Desmothernismo (Smart Art Press and the Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA, 1998). The artist is an associate professor of studio art at the University of California, San Diego.
Cuauhtémoc Medina, independent curator and art critic from Mexico City, Mexico, selected Rubén Ortiz-Torres for his ArtPace residency. Medina has written extensively on contemporary art and is a former curator of contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico