Ruben Ochoa

Mi Tierra Artist Ruben Ochoa

Ochoa's Installation Is on View through Oct. 22, 2017

Ruben Ochoa is one of 13 artists who created installations at the Denver Art Museum for Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place.

There’s a fundamental contradiction between civic infrastructure assumed to unite cities, and Ruben Ochoa’s view of these structures as barricades that segregate populations. In his studio practice he chooses to work with materials used to build the urban fabric—dirt, rebar, concrete, galvanized metal fence posts—as commentary on social structures and access. In Los Angeles, streets trace the contours of hillsides while the freeway system gouges through neighborhoods, creating divisions. The infrastructure of LA is sometimes considered a circulatory system, albeit a clogged one, that unites the metropolis. Ochoa excavates parts of roads, walls, fences, and foundations that he considers indicators of boundaries intended to keep populations separate, and he then creates sculptures based on these extracted elements.

Steel and concrete sculpture by Ruben Ochoa
Ruben Ochoa, Ever since I was little it looked like fun, 2017. © Ruben Ochoa

Carleen Brice edits the blog and On & Off the Wall, the member magazine for the Denver Art Museum. Carleen has been at the DAM since 2013. She recommends visitors don't miss the touchable Ganesha statue on level 2 of the Hamilton Building.