An exhibition by Mario Ybarra, Jr.
On View September 30 – December 8, 2023
Mario Ybarra, Jr. Artist Lecture
Using sculptural installation, Ybarra, Jr. explores the impact of mass incarceration on families and communities and the artist’s personal experience of watching a friend enter the prison system as a teenager. Using the metaphor of the family pizza establishment and its available pie sizes, the artist asks questions about the impact of incarceration on the individual and the circles of their communities. He does so using interview footage with a childhood friend who was incarcerated for thirty-two years. Ybarra uses scale images in the installation of Red West Pizzeria, the local Wilmington pizza restaurant that he and his friend ate at as children in the 1970s and 80s.
Images courtesy of CCYoung.
About the Artist
Mario Ybarra, Jr. has developed a prolific artistic practice that emanates from his upbringing, producing contemporary art that is filtered through his Mexican-American experience. Ybarra grew up in the greater Los Angeles-area and is one of a new generation of artists of Mexican descent that does not reject their American identity but embraces both trajectories in their background equally. Ybarra’s work operates as examinations of excluded social norms, often including complete environments, histories, and narratives.
Mario Ybarra Jr. was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and lives in Wilmington, California. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Otis College of Art and Design in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine in 2001. One-person exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Boone Family Art Gallery at the Center for Arts, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA (2015); Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA (2013); Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA (2012). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943–2016, Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College, Monterey Park, CA (2016). Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2008); The World as a Stage, Tate Modern, London, UK (2007); and the California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2006).