Rafael Esparza

Rafael EsparzaArtist’s Statement

Woven into my bodies of work are my interests in history, personal narratives, and kinship. I am inspired by my own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that come forth as a result. I am persistent in attempting to inhabit a time and space inaccessible to me. Using live performance as my main form of inquiry; site specificity, materiality, memory and (non)documentation become primary tools in interrogating, critiquing and examining ideologies, power structures and binaries that problematize the “survival” process of historicized narratives and the environments wherein people are left to navigate and socialize.

I’ve initiated performance as a site where I can interrogate cultural rituals and ceremonies by “re-performing” creation stories and injecting my body into them thus creating a space for myself but ultimately to imagine queer alternative stories I find pertinent to my own understanding of identity.

In my current work I’m looking towards Los Angeles’ public spaces as similar sites with an outward bend where my imagined psychic space meshes with that of the site and the notions, myths, and histories that surround it.


Solo Exhibitions

Rafa Esparza. they spent their time doing nothing. they let intimacy
fuse them
. Vincent Price Art Museum. East Los Angeles, California

no water under the bridge.
Under 4th St Viaduct. East Los Angeles, California

el hoyo. Human Resources, Los Angeles, California

STILL. Elysian Park, Los Angeles, California
Group Exhibitions

MexiCali Biennial 2013. Cannibalism in the New World.
Collaborator: Dino Dinco. Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles,

Confusion is Sex 3. Collaborator Dorian Wood. Sepulveda Basin, Los Angeles, California

Perform Chinatown.
With Sebastian Hernandez. Los Angeles, California

Fellowships/ Awards

Aubrey Penny Undergraduate Scholarship, UCLA, Los Angeles, California


B.A. 2011
School of Art and Architecture, University of California Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, CA