Employing construction materials like cement, sand, rebar, and wire, Los Angeles artist Ruben Ochoa transforms serviceable resources into works of art. Ochoa's work can be both surreal and poetic: a fifteen-by-eighteen-foot slab of concrete partially covered with dirt appears as if a section of a freeway just landed inside a commercial gallery and a group of aluminum poles bent at odd angles, capped with a pod-looking cement hood gives the appearance of delicate vegetation swaying in the wind. Akin to street verse, these works articulate urban feelings with the intensity known to those who appreciate living in a city environment.

Ochoa is interested in the physicality of space with its defined boundaries or demarcations that result in dislocation and displacement. In his first edition with The Lapis Press, Steel Life Porcelana, 2014, Ochoa presents a sculpture that consists of three elements: porcelain, concrete, and wire. Measuring 21 x 6-1/4 x 12 inches, the small sculpture borrows physical elements from the diverse environment of Southern California in the service of subtle social and cultural critique. According to Ochoa, this piece represents more than just a "bundle of rebar"; in effect, it alludes to informal economic practices common among low wage construction workers. Unable to be utilized in construction, scraps of rebar less than 24" long are considered waste and thrown away. Mindful of their industrial value, laborers bundle rebar bits together to bring to recycling centers where they can be exchanged for cash. In its transliteration of one sturdy material for a fragile one, Steel Life Porcelana denies the former its original use value and utilitarian purpose while elevating it to artwork status in the form of a porcelain replica.

Ruben Ochoa lives and works in Los Angeles. His interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, site-specific and site-responsive installations, photography, drawing, and public intervention. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at such international venues as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Miami Art Museum, Miami; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, California; PinchukArtCenter, Kiev, Ukraine; Sammlung Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany; Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

— Alma Ruiz, Senior Curator MOCA
Born in Oceanside, California, 1972
Lives and works in Los Angeles

2003 MFA, University of California, Irvine
1997 BFA, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
1996 Parsons School of Art and Design, New York
Solo Exhibitions:

Matrix 169 / Cloudless Day, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford

Dislocated Masses, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City

Cores and Cutouts, Locust Projects, Miami

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Charles H. Scott Gallery at Emily Carr University, Vancouver, British Columbia
Crooked Under the Weight, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe
Collapsed, Peter Blum, Soho
three the hard way, Peter Blum Gallery, Chelsea

Fall of the Wall [paper], Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects, Berlin

A Recurring Amalgamation, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles
Classic Rupture, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo

Extracted, LAXART, Los Angeles
Freeway wall next to a…, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles

Borrowed Ladders, ESL I Esthetics as a Second Language, Los Angeles

Greyscale, Voz Alta Projects, San Diego
Two Person Exhibitions:
Duet: Ruben Ochoa and B.J. Vogt, curated by Daniel McGrath, Duet, St. Louis

Beta-Space: Kevin Appel and Ruben Ochoa, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

ArtBasel Miami, two person presentation with Tam Van Tran, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects Booth

Swap, collaboration with Mark Bradford, LACMA: On-Site, Charles White Elementary Gallery, Los Angeles

Storage, collaboration with Marco Rios, 4-F Gallery, Los Angeles
Embryonic Loop, collaboration with Marco Rios, LAXART, Los Angeles

Caltransposed with Peter Tavera, Gallery 727, Los Angeles

Rigor Motors, collaboration with Marco Rios, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna
Projects by Ruben Ochoa and Michael Queenland, The Project, Los Angeles (curated by Lauri Firstenberg)
Selected Group Exhibitions:
Nasher XCHANGE: 10+ Celebration, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, curated by Jeremy Strick
Reverberations, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach
Hook, Line and Sinker: Contemporary Drawings from the Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno

Lost Line: Contemporary Art from the Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Haubrok Collection: No Desaster, Sammlung Falckenberg, Harburg
The Very Large Array: San Diego/Tijuana Artists in the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Downtown, Jacobs Building, San Diego my.LA, haubrokshows, Sammlung-Haubrok, Berlin

Greater LA, curated by Benjamin Godsill, Eleaonor Cayre and Joel Mesler, New York
The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice Collateral Event of the 54th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Palazzo Papadopoli, Venice, Italy

Summer Group Show, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles
The Artist's Museum: Los Angeles Artists 1980-2010, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Future Generation Art Prize, PinchukArtCenter, Kiev, Ukraine
Inaugural Group Exhibition, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City
Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection, Miami Art Museum, Miami
Invisible City, Instituto Cervantes, Madrid, Spain (Curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles) traveling to: Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi, India; Instituto Cervantes, Berlin, Germany; Instituto Cervantes, Tokyo

Counter Intelligence, Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles
Collecting History: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions, MOCA, Los Angeles
Collector's XXIV, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego
Dibujar es Pensar Proyecto Magenta, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico

It's All About Sculpture, Haubrok Foundation, Berlin
From and About Place: Art from Los Angeles, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel, Curated by Alma Ruiz (catalogue)
In the Round: The 90th Anniversary of OTIS College of Art & Design, Andrew Shire Gallery, Los Angeles
Puerto Vallarta Arte Contemporáneo 08, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (organized by Pilar Perez)
WHITNEY BIENNIAL 2008, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Phantom Sightings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (curated by Rita Gonzalez, Howard Fox and Chon Noriega) travelling to: Tamayo Art Museum, Mexico City; Mexico Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Museum Alamdea, San Antonio; El Museo del Barrio / Americas Society, New York; Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara

Multifaceted Lens, Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis
Performance Z-A, 25th Anniversary for the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York
Viva Mexico! Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, curated by Magda Kardasz, traveling to BWA Wroclaw - Contemporary Art Gallery, Wroclaw, Poland.
Latitude, Artcore, Los Angeles (organized by Pilar Tompkins)
Range, d.e.n Gallery, Los Angeles (curated by Kristi Lippire)

Mexicali Biennial, La Casa de la Tia Tina, Mexicali, Mexico
The Newsstand Project, newsstands throughout Los Angeles (organized by Dan Bayles)
Agent Once, Acuna-Hansen, Los Angeles (organized by Jason Keller)
25 Bold Moves: Emerging Artists Exhibit, House of Campari, Los Angeles
An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life, REDCAT Gallery, Los Angeles
Otis: Nine Decades of Los Angeles Art Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles

Happenstance, Harris-Lieberman Gallery, New York (curated by Lauri Firstenberg)
Drive by and relax, UPSPACE, Los Angeles (curated by Chris Sicat)
Borderless Dreams, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside
Drive Time, Wignall Museum, Rancho Cucamonga
Empire.Style, ART2102, Boyle Heights (curated by Peter Zellner)
passerby, Vox Populi, Philadelphia (curated by Cassandra Cobelentz)

FREEWAVES_Inter-State: Video on a Go, REDCAT Theater, Los Angeles
2004 California Biennial, Arist-in-residence, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach
Land of the Free: Americana, City of Brea Gallery, Brea (curated by Tyler Stallings)

¡Picarte! Photography Beyond Representation, Heard Museum, Phoeniz
Recess, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles (curated by Brienne Arrington and Dan Bayles)
Happy Beautiful Desirable, Track 16, Santa Monica

Better Look Twice, Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena
Whacked, Los Angeles (curated by John Souza)
Grants and Awards:
California Community Foundation, Getty Fellow, Mid-Career Artist

Future Generation Art Prize Nomination, Victor Pinchuk Foundation

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) Investing in Artist Grant

Creative Capital Foundation: Visual Arts Grant

Rockefeller Fellowship: New Media

International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency (ISCP-NYC), August-November

Nimoy Foundation, California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art: Artist-in-Residence
California Community Foundation: Emerging Artist Fellowship
The Durfee Foundation: Artists' Resource for Completion Grant

University of California Institutional Research Award (UCIRA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
The UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego
The Miami Art Museum, Miami
Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Selected bibliography:
Ruben Ochoa: Flock in Space, Trinity River Audubon Center, Exhibition Pamphlet for Nasher XCHANGE: 10 Years, 10 Artists, 10 Sites, Dallas: Nasher Sculpture Center, October
Nasher Sculpture Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary, CBS Dallas-Forth Worth, October 18
Herren, Michael, 7 LA Artists to Watch, LA Confidential, October
100 Best Fall Shows, Modern Painters, September
Nasher Sculpture Center launches ambitious project to turn all of North Texas into an outdoor museum, Dallas Voice, August 23
Bentley, Alex, Nasher Sculpture Center unveils plans for first Nasher Xchange sculpture at Trinity River Audubon Center, Culture Map Dallas, June 14

Einspruch, Franklin, Ruben Ochoa, Art in America, March 8

Boehm, Mike, New art prize nets winner $100,000 from billionare collector Victor Pinchuk, The Los Angeles Times, December 10
Burge, Russell, Critics' Pick: Ruben Ochoa,, May
Pincus, Robert L., Echoes of Duchamp at the MCASD, San Diego Union Tribune, April 11
Johnson, Ken, Art Review: Phantom Sightings, The New York Times,
Myers, Holly, Ruben Ochoa: In a construction zone, Los Angeles Times, March 7

Adlmann, Jan Ernst, Santa Fe, Art In America, December
Momin, Shamim, Ruben Ochoa essay in Vitamin 3-D: New Perspectives in Sculptures and Installation, Phaidon Press
Art & Space: Ruben Ochoa, BOB International Magazine of Space Design, Issue #062, Fall
Davis, Kathryn M., Santa Fe, Art Ltd., July
Cotter, Holland, Ruben Ochoa: 'Collapsed', the New York Times, July 17
Fairfield, Douglas, Art In Review, Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo, July 10
Fischer, Zane, Pssst! Hey, Mom: SITE has an art exhibition that mothers (and others) will love, Santa Fe Reporter, July 8
Tobin, Richard, Critical Reflections: Ruben Ochoa/ Crooked Under the Weight, THE Magazine, July 2009
Weideman, Paul, Four Off the Floor, the New Mexican Pasatiempo, June 26
Exhibitions: Ruben Ochoa, SITE magazine, Summer
Dault, Julia, Critics' Pick: New York, Ruben Ochoa at Peter Blum, Artforum, May
Galleries-Downtown: Ruben Ochoa, The New Yorker, April 13
Saltz, Jerry, This Road Goes Somewhere, New York Magazine, April 6
Von Taube, Annika, Los Angeles, Sleek Magazine, Winter

Place, Vanessa, Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, X-Tra Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 2, Winter
Chang, Richard, A Broader Biennial, Orange County Register, October 26
Chang, Richard, California Biennial reaches beyond the Golden State, The Arts Blog,, October 24
Young, Paul, The Radar Art, Angeleno, October
Ruiz, Alma, Interview with Ruben Ochoa, From and About Place: Art from Los Angeles, The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, September - November
Kotz, Liz, Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, Modern Painters, September
Guha, Rohin, Ruben Ochoa @ LAMCA,, August 7
Dambrot, Shana, Report: New York City, The Ghost of Jason Rhoades, Art Ltd, July
Ezrha Jean, LA's Cultural art (r)evolution, Artillery, July/August
Danto, Arthur C., Unlovable, The Nation, May 26
Bryan-Wilson, Julia, Review: Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, Art Forum, Summer
Johnson, Reed, Puerto Vallarta's Not Just for Tourists, it's for Artists too, Los Angeles Times, June 4
Guggenheim Fellows of 2008, Art In America, June/July
Canning, Susan, Whitney Biennial: New York, Art Papers, May
Machida, Nico, Interview with Ruben Ochoa, ArtSlant, May 19
Dabkowski, Colin, New at the Knox, The Buffalo News, May 11
Vikram, Anuradha, The LA Annual, Artillery, May/June
Gleason, Mat, Beyond Expectations: How 'Phantom Sightings' Defeats Cliché, ArtScene, May 1
Miles, Christopher, LACMA East: 'Phantom Sightings' Chronicles the Rise of Post-Chicanoism, LA Weekly, April 30
Chang, R, O.C. Museum of Art hires guest curator for biennial, The Arts Blog,, February 11
Gonzalez, Rita, Howard N. Fox, and Chan A. Noriega, Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement LACMA Publications, March
Schjeldahl, Peter, Lessness: The Whitney Biennial, New Yorker, March 17
Lacavo, Richard, The Simple Life, Time, March 13
Cohn, Marilyn, The Big Apple: Whitney Biennial, For Your Art, March 13
Schuker, Lauren A.E., The Fine Art of Less, The Wall Street Journal, March 7
Dalton, Trinie, 2008 Biennial Exhibition Catalogue, The Whitney Museum of American Art, March
Dockary, Sean and Hugo Hopping. Social Studies: An Art and Social Engagement, X-TRA Contemporary
Art Quarterly, Volume 10, Number 3, Spring
MJ, Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects, Transparenz durch Trugbilder,, January 16

Viva Mexico, (Exhibition Catalogue), Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warszawa
Paterson, Carrie, Ruben Ochoa: A Recurring Amalgamation, Art Circles, Issue #5, Fall
Vogel, Carol, Whitney Biennial Stretches to Armory, New York Times, November 16
Artists Announced for 2008 Whitney Biennial,, November 16
Campagnola, Sonia, Live from Los Angeles, Flash Art, November/December
Gray, Emma, L.A. Confidential, artnet, October 12
Continuing and Recommended: Ruben Ochoa's 'A Recurring Amalgamation' at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Art Scene, October
Mizota, Sharon, Ruben Ochoa: 'A Recurring Amalgamation' at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects,, September 22
Gray, Emma, Emma Gray's Top 10 Shows in Los Angeles this Month, Daily Magazine, Saatchi Online, September
Myers, Holly, When nature and urban life conflict, Los Angeles Times, September 14
Becker, Jack; Slade, George, Multifaceted Lens: Photography and Public Art, Public Art Review, Spring/Summer
Freeman, Tommy, The Trans-Aestheticization of Daily Life at the Sweeney Art Gallery, Artweek, May
Allsop, Laura; Alizarin Harvey, Polly; Lawley, Alanna, Consumed, ArtReview, June, p. 42
Szupinska, Joanna, Ruben Ochoa, Artillery, Volume 1, No. 4, March

Westerbeck, Colin, Photo Synthesis: Fwy Wall Extraction, West Magazine, Los Angeles Times, December 24
Kim, Clara, Ruben Ochoa: 'Extracted', Contemporary, Issue 88, p.73
West, Kevin, The Van Man, WWDscoop, September, p. 60
Myers, Holly, Freeways connect and divide, Los Angeles Times, September 15, p. E22
Gray, Emma, L.A. Confidential, Artnet, October 13
Satorius, Katherine, Ruben Ochoa at LA> Campagnola, Sonia, Focus Los Angeles: A Survey of Contemporary Los Angeles Art, Flash Art, January/February, page 73
Finkel, Jori, Recipe for Revolution: Take 11,000 Photos, New York Times, January 29, section 2-32
Isenberg, Barbara, Otis College of Art and Design: The First 88 Years, Otis: Nine Decades of Art (catalogue), p. 14
Pollack, Barbara, Happenstance, Time Out New York, Issue 536, January

Gonzalez, Rita, Strangeways Here We Come, Recent Pasts: Art in Southern California from the 90s to Now, published by jrp ringier
Cotter, Holland, Happenstance, New York Times, December 30, p. B37
Willis, Holly, State of the Art: A Field Guide from Acken to Zittel, LA Weekly, October 28, p. 52
Tumlir, Jan, California Biennial, Artforum, February, p. 168

Pincus, Robert L., Turning in to the O.C.: 'Biennial' belly laughs, The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7
Knight, Christopher, Biennial arrives, and so does a museum, Los Angeles Times, October 13, p. E1, E7
Armstrong, Elizabeth and Hofman, Irene, The Big Sweep: Paradox in Paradise, California Biennial (catalogue), Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California, p. 12-21, 92-95
Cavallo Collins, Gina, Through the Lens Violently, Phoenix New Times, January 15

Contreras, V. Wade, CLASS C: Ruben Ochoa Rolls Over Artistic Barriers, September