Esteban Cabeza de Baca

New York, NY

Cabeza de Baca’s childhood hometown of San Ysidro virtually straddled the U.S.–Mexico border, as did his family. His father and Mexican-born mother were active participants in the Brown Berets, as well as the Chicano, American Indian, and Black Panther movements. Of Mexican and Native American heritage himself, Cabeza de Baca was heavily influenced by the border town’s liminal position, and by his parents, whose intersectional political awareness and respect for human dignity led them to shelter “illegal” immigrants in their basement during his youth. In his work, Cabeza de Baca employs a broad range of painterly techniques, entwining layers of graffitti, landscape, and pre-Columbian pictographs in ways that confound Cartesian single-point perspective.

Born in San Ysidro, CA in 1985, Esteban Cabeza de Baca received a BFA from Cooper Union, School of the Arts in 2010 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2014. He currently lives and works in Queens, NY.

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