Victor Estrada: Purple Mexican

On view October 6, 2022 - February 25, 2023

A survey of works celebrating one of Los Angeles’ most groundbreaking artists, Victor Estrada: Purple Mexican presents a selection of more than 40 intimately scaled drawings from the artist’s oeuvre, plus a selection of large paintings created during the past decade, and a major recent sculpture.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Victor Estrada has produced paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations that deftly navigate the realms of pop and conceptual art. A consummate Angelino, his work is informed by the unique cultural landscape of the sprawling metropolis and the Southwest—1980s Los Angeles and South Bay punk rock; Chicano art, music and politics; the art collectives ASCO and Los Four; and the enduring socio-political ramifications surrounding the US/Mexico border. Estrada congeals this and more in his surreal forms, pushing the boundaries of abstraction while also teasing the viewer with eruptions and viscera of his own identity. His work challenges us as it upends prevalent systems of control, oozing its way into our collective consciousnesses as a byproduct of natural, chaotic, and complex forms of subsistence in an illogical, hostile world.

Born in Los Angeles and a member of the student activist group MEChA—founded in the late ‘60s as the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán—Estrada went on to earn his BFA and MFA at ArtCenter College of Design. He came to widespread recognition with his audacious sculpture Baby/Baby (1991) in the legendary 1992 exhibition Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Since then, Estrada has continued to build upon his signature style: fantastical landscapes, creatures and bodily forms that explore eroticism, identity, estrangement and belonging.

The exhibition is curated by artist Marco Rios, with support from ArtCenter Exhibitions.

Victor Estrada: Purple Mexican is made possible through a generous grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery
South Campus
1111 S. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91105

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday to Saturday, 12 pm - 5 pm.
Reservations recommended.


Works in the Exhibition

Color As Revolution: Alum Victor Estrada’s Art Explores Identity, Bigotry, Self, Perception, Memory

In Person Exhibition Walkthrough: Victor Estrada and Marco Rios

Saturday, October 22, 2022
4:00 p.m.

Join featured artist Victor Estrada and exhibition curator Marco Rios as they share their thoughts on the exhibition.

In Conversation: Victor Estrada and Vincent Ramos (online)

Thursday, January 26, 2023
7 p.m.

A virtual conversation with the featured artist and Los Angeles artist Vincent Ramos. An interview of Estrada by Ramos is included in the exhibition catalogue. Listen in on their conversation that reflects on the published interview plus extra insights on working as an artist in Los Angeles.