The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Mario Ybarra Jr. at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tío Collection

August 5, 2012–September 30, 2012
Opening Reception: August 4, 6:30 – 8 pm

Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum
653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 USA
Hours: Tue–Sat, 11–5pm; Sun, 12–5pm
Admission is free.

The eponymous exhibition Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tío Collection, will feature displays of both fictional and non-fictional objects belonging to the artist’s uncles, including photographs, artifacts, and other handmade objects. Inspired by artists like Fred Wilson and the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, Ybarra Jr. examines and deconstructs the traditional display of art and artifacts in institutions of authority (e.g., museums and libraries), with a particular focus on the inclusion of the Chicano experience.

Examining the cultivation of his own style, the artist utilizes personal, cultural, and temporal elements to organize The Tío Collection, revealing how familial, generational, geographical, and cultural influences filter down and are inherent to who we become. Moving away from common stereotypes of the Mexican-American experience by portraying a diverse, multi-generational, and heterogeneous population, Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tío Collection is an homage—an attempt to document the cultural field and add to the historical record the presence and contributions of the Chicano community in Santa Barbara as well as the United States.

The exhibition, Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tío Collection, is a museological tribute to the artist’s family (tío means uncle in Spanish), featuring objects and artifacts collected by Ybarra Jr.’s five paternal uncles, one maternal uncle, and several uncles-in-law. Considering institutional critique projects by Fred Wilson or the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, CA, and inspired by a recent trip to the archaeological Moesgård Museum in Højbjerg, Denmark, Ybarra Jr.deconstructs the traditional display of art and artifacts in museums and posits a space for the Chicano experience within the framework of California and US history. Using his uncles as a lens, Ybarra Jr. explores the ways his family shaped his style and outlook. The works displayed also shed light on our innate desire to collect, create, and aestheticize the world around us.

Mario Ybarra Jr. received a MFA from University of California, Irvine and a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA. Ybarra has exhibited internationally in major museums and galleries from California to Cairo, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Tate Modern, London, England; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and many more. In 2002, Ybarra and his wife Karla Diaz  co-founded the artist-collective Slanguage, where Diaz now oversees exhibitions and programming. He is represented by Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, CA.

For more information:

Posted in: News