Mario Ybarra Jr

Mario Ybarra JrArtist’s Statement

My artistic goal is to continue to have an art practice that challenges me and contributes to contemporary art dialogue. I would like to actively engage the generations of artists that have preceded me and simultaneously usher in the new generations of artists that will follow. I have for the past decade been able to produce works that have engaged diverse museum and gallery audiences with the themes of politics and social awareness through the use of personal narratives. I had the pleasure of running a few artist run-spaces including most importantly, Slanguage Studio, the space I have facilitated with my wife Karla Diaz. Karla and I founded the space in 2002 with the initial intent of having our own studio, but over the years, it has provided many exhibition and art-training opportunities for many artists to show and have a common ground.

My individual art practice has allowed me several opportunities to travel and learn about the world outside of my neighborhood. Doing an exhibit in another part of the world allows me to research and discover marginalized stories, the value of different people and places that official histories do not take into account. My work usually takes on the form of large scale installations where stories are told about people or places through ephemeral objects, videos and architecture. The knowledge I have gained so far from my art experiences has turned into a great resource for me, but also for the many artists I work with. Passing on this knowledge in the form of mentorship is another interest of mine. I hope to continue to grow as an artist so that I can continue to be a model for others.


Select Solo Exhibitions from 2008-2011

Wilmington Good, Cardi Black Box, Milan, Italy

Silver and Blacks, Michael Janssen Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Artpace, San Antonio, Texas

Take Me Out… No Man Is An Island, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Select Group Exhibitions from 2008-2011

Possible Worlds: Mario Ybarra Jr., Karla Diaz, and Slanguage Studio Select from the Permanent Collections, LACMA, Los Angeles

2da Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Curatorial Projects

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Arhus Kunstbygning,Centre for Contemporary Art,Sigrids Space, Aarhus, Denmark

Awards and Grants

Levitt Fellow, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.


M.F.A., 2001
Studio Art, University of California, Irvine, Calif.

B.F.A., 1999
Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, Calif.

Art Center College of Art, Pasadena, Calif.