The work by Rubén Ortiz-Torres (b. 1964), an internationally-renowned artist, curator, and author, featured in Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man was developed from the early eighties to the early nineties when the artist was inspired by the punk scene in Mexico City. As with many artists of his generation, punk culture became an avenue in which the artist formulated his own creative identity. As both a participant in the punk scene and as a visual artist, Ortiz-Torres’s works demonstrate his intimate relationship with his subjects. The diverse media included in this exhibition, such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and video, exemplify Ortiz-Torres’s rigorous technical skill and also provide a rare opportunity for visitors to experience this highly-regarded artist’s earlier works.
Born in Mexico City, Ortiz-Torres came to Los Angeles to study at the California Institute of the Arts and has been a longtime Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California San Diego. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MoCA), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), and many others, both private and public. In conjunction with The San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, Ortiz-Torres has written an essay for the forthcoming anthology Punkademics, edited by Zack Furness.