Mario Ybarra, Jr

Aug 30, 2013


The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) currently shows an exhibition of new works by artist-in-residence Mario Ybarra, Jr., titled Books Of Drawings, Beyond Our Dreams, Blame Our Dads, Brains On Drugs, Better Off Dead. Mario Ybarra, Jr.‘s sculpture, installations, and community-based projects examine the perspective and cultural touchstones of Mexican-Americans living in Southern California. Ybarra, Jr. strives to cultivate an “open dialogue with the public”—whether as aware participants or unassuming onlookers—in his work, including his socially-engaged artist group Slanguage, which he co-founded with Karla Diaz in 2002 in Wilmington, California.

A major part of Ybarra, Jr.’s work involves examining hidden histories of U.S. street culture through large-scale, mixed media installations. His collaboration with FWM serves as a vehicle for telling a creative, visual narrative of Ybarra, Jr.’s former street crew, established 23 years ago in 1990. Similar to the exhibition’s title, the crew’s name—identified by Ybarra, Jr.’s first graffiti tag, B.O.D.—can stand for many things and inspires many components of the FWM installation, such as wallpaper, jackets, a scarf, and sketchbooks. These artworks are housed within fragmented architectural structures that, when combined, can form a large shipping container, a common industrial sight at the Los Angeles Port, which is located close to Wilmington, California, where Mario Ybarra, Jr. was born and raised. At FWM, these structures simultaneously serve as an urban clubhouse, a museum, and pop-up shop.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum

August 30 – Fall 2012
1214 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2816