Born in Oceanside, CA, in 1974, Ruben Ochoa’s practice engages space as both a concept and a material. Often produced with material forms associated with construction, Ochoa’s works expose the ideological and broader sociopolitical and economic relationships that facilitate the way spaces we inhabit and move through are assembled.
Whether sculpture, photography, site-specific installation, or public intervention, Ruben Ochoa’s work is a manifestation of the urban environment he is surrounded by in the Southern California landscape, where he was born and raised. Using vernacular building materials collected from hardware stores, construction sites, and family businesses—even employing the labor skills of relatives for production—Ochoa recalls the concrete, dirt, and rebar of his Los Angeles landscape with a sophisticated-yet-playful elegance. In exploring the geography and physicality of the city, Ochoa addresses the boundaries of the space—curbs, freeways, chain-link fences—all marks of contention, displacement, and division of social classes, which ultimately speak to the social and economic climate of the city.