Mario Ybarra, Jr.

Mario Ybarra, Jr., is a visual and performance artist, educator, and activist who combines street culture with fine art in order to produce what he calls “contemporary art that is filtered through a Mexican American experience in Los Angeles.” He has received critical acclaim for site-specific urban interventions that often bring to light little-known aspects of a particular location’s cultural history. Ybarra earned his MFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 2001, and has exhibited internationally at recent exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art (2008); Possible Worlds: Mario Ybarra Jr., Karla Diaz, and Slanguage Studio Select from the Permanent Collections, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011); Mario Ybarra, Jr: The Tio Collection, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (2012); and Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART, Los Angeles (2012), among others.

Why we love Mario Ybarra Jr.:

• He has been known to disguise himself as the secret superhero Magic Mariachi to engage bilingual students in conversations about identity, community, and action

• A modern man on the street, he uses his many talents as a visual and performance artist, educator, and activist to create site-specific urban interventions

• In 2002, he co-founded the collective Slanguage — made up of teenagers, street artists, and established mid – to late career artists, the group’s focus is education, community-building, interactive exhibitions, and fostering dialogue about the meaning of contemporary art