Alejandro Diaz

Born 1963 in San Antonio, Texas
Lives and works in New York, NY

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Education

MA, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 1999
BFA, University of Texas at Austin, 1987

About The Artist

Using only common street materials, Texas-born and New York City-based artist Alejandro Diaz suitably and seductively captures complex cultural and political relationships within his multimedia work.

Diaz’s acclaimed and influential cardboard signs–which he began making and selling on the streets of Manhattan in the late 90s–are equal parts deadpan humor, political activism and public intervention. These caustic artworks, a clear comment on the class and racial divide found between his native South Texas and bordering Mexico, eventually led to an industrial equivalent, Mr. Diaz’s lauded neon sign series.

In 2003, shortly after graduating with an MA from the Bard CCS Program, Diaz was asked to create a large-scale artwork for the Havana Biennial titled I (Heart) Cuba; an installation of free souvenir items emblazoned with the artist’s twist on the familiar NYC slogan.  A few years later, he was commissioned by New York City’s Public Art Fund to create four large-scale sculptures along the historic grand concourse in the Bronx.

In 2009, Diaz was given a solo exhibition at the critically acclaimed Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, and in 2012, he mounted a solo exhibition at the RISD Museum of Art, in Providence, RI. He was the recipient of a distinguished Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2007.

Diaz’s work has been reviewed in a wealth of publications, including but not limited to: Artforum, the New Yorker, The New York Times, and Frieze.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the LACMA in Los Angeles, CA, The Fundacion Jumex in Mexico City and the Museo del Barrio, in New York City, among others. He has lectured on his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Drawing Center, both in New York City.

 

Galleries

David Shelton Gallery, Houston
Royale Projects, Los Angeles

Select Permanent Collections

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Fundación Jumex, Mexico City
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ
El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY
The RISD Museum of Art, RI
Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.


Work


Exhibitions

  • Anything for a Laugh: Humor in Contemporary Art

    Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite
    And you can charm the critics and have nothin’ to eat
    Just slip on a banana peel
    The world’s at your feet

    ”Make ‘em Laugh,” Singin’ in the Rain (1952)


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