Alejandro Diaz American, b. 1963


Based in New York, Alejandro Diaz was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas where he developed a unique and pertinent body of work exemplifying the complex and visually rich cultural milieu particular to South Texas and Mexico. Diaz received an MFA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-onHudson, NY in 1999 and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. He was an Artist-in-Residence at Artpace in 1996 and co-founded Sala Diaz Gallery that same year in San Antonio, Texas. In both his artistic and curatorial practice Diaz has prioritized the inclusion and representation of lesser-known or rarely validated cultural expressions. His artwork is often tinged with humor, sometimes making self-deprecating jokes about the “seriousness” of artmaking, other times delivering biting socio-political commentary under the guise of light-hearted wit. Diaz's conceptual, campy and political cardboard signs-which he began making and selling on the streets of Manhattan in the late 1990s-are emblematic of his recurrent use of everyday materials and his continuing involvement with art as a form of entertainment, activism, public intervention, and free enterprise.


Winner of the "In the Public Realm" competition in 2005, Diaz was commissioned by the Public Art Fund to create 4 large-scale sculptures/planters in the form of oversized Mexican grocery store canned products sited on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Standing in for the process of assimilation, the Mexican products Diaz chose to replicate were items that were rapidly becoming part of American mainstream culture.


In 2007, Diaz was the recipient of the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and in 2008 Diaz was selected to participate in a group exhibition organized and exhibited at LACMA, Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement. The groundbreaking exhibition traveled to Mexico City, Houston, San Antonio, and New York City. Diaz has had a solo project at the critically acclaimed Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT (2009) with additional solo exhibitions at Jessica Murray Projects, NY (2001), the RISD Museum of Art, RI (2012), and the Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio, TX (2015).


Diaz's work has been reviewed in publications such as the New Yorker, The New York Times, Art in America, the LA Times, Flash Art, Artforum, and Frieze. His work, among others, is in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington D.C.; LACMA, Los Angelos, CA; El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ; Fundación ColecciónJumex, Mexico City, Mexico; RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; Ruby City, San Antonio, TX.




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