Harry Gamboa, Jr.
|Harry Gamboa Jr.|
|Known for||Performance art, Photography|
The first of five children born to a working-class Mexican American couple, Gamboa grew up in East Los Angeles, California, "an urban area tormented by poverty, violence, and racial conflict". Despite the "inadequacy of the East L.A. public schools", Gamboa was encouraged to value education and did fairly well in school, and he was active in community organizations and politics as a teenager. As a high-school student (graduated 1969), Gamboa was active in student government and an organizer of various student-initiated reforms, most significantly the 1968 "East L.A. Blowouts"—a series of protests against the inferior conditions of public schools in poor, non-white areas.
Gamboa's extracurricular activities were not, however, limited to politics. Already a developing artist, it was at Garfield High that Gamboa met Gronk (Glugio Nicandro), Patssi Valdez (then known as Patsy), and Willie Herrón, three of his closest associates in his later career. After the "Blowouts" of his senior year, Gamboa dropped out of the political scene to dedicate himself to his education. Thanks to these efforts and with the help of the Equal Opportunities Program (EOP) for disadvantaged minority students, Gamboa was able to attend California State University, Los Angeles.
From this point, his career as an artist—both solo and with Gronk, Valdez, and Herrón in the art collective ASCO (Spanish for nausea) —"took off". Among other "urban interventions," Asco sprayed their names on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Gamboa's work as a writer, photographer, film-maker, performance artist and multimedia creator of "things" is diverse, but in all his efforts (including those as a member of ASCO) his focus has been to reveal the absurdity of urban life and to confront both the dominant white culture and various perspectives within Chicano culture, pointing to the pain and alienation caused by both. This is often achieved by altering the media of the art itself, as opposed to just the subject matter. Gamboa's most significant 20th Century works include mail art of the 1970s, ASCO's "no movies," and the "urban operas" Ignore the Dents and Jetter's Jinx.
In 1993 Gamboa married his second wife, Chicana muralist Barbara Carrasco, after seven years of romantic and professional involvement.
The Getty Research Institute Pacific Standard Time initiative that focused on postwar art in Los Angeles featured the major exhibition, Asco: Elite of the Obscure, a retrospective, 1972-1987, at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 4 - December 4, 2011.
ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA, February 4 - July 29, 2012.
Patrick Charpenel selected Asco: Elite of the Obscure as Mexico City’s Best, 2013, Art in America, (December 2013)
Gamboa's photograph, Decoy Gang War Victim, 1974, was featured on the cover of Artforum (October, 2011).
Michael Ned Holte selected, Asco: Elite of the Obscure, as his #1 pick for Best of 2011 in Artforum (December, 2011).
Christopher Knight selected, Asco: Elite of the Obscure, 2011 year in review: Best in Art, 2011 Los Angeles Times.
His work has been exhibited by museums nationally/internationally : Centre d'Arts Plastiques Contemporain, Bordeaux, France; De Appel, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014); Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz, Austria (2013); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England (2013); Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (2013); Le Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France (2013); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (UNAM), Mexico City (2013); Tate Liverpool, Liverpook, England (2013); Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2011, 1981); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011, 2010); Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (2009); Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2011); Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England (2009); Museo de Arte Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico (2009); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011, 2008, 2001); Fowler Museum, UC Los Angeles (2011); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2008); Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles (2008); El Museo del Barrio, New York (2008, 2010); The Huntington Library, San Marino, California (2008); Museo José Luis Cuevas, Mexico City (2006); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2006); Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City (2005); International Center of Photography, New York (2003); MIT List Visual Arts Center (2000); Queens Museum of Art (1999); Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. (1997); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (1996); 1995 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (1994); Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (1994); LAX/CSU Los Angeles (1994); Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (1981); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1979); Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (1978); Museo Alvar y Carmen T. Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (1978); Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ (1977).
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
September 21, 2014 – January 11, 2015
Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California
The exhibition will tour: Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City (February 6, 2015–May 17, 2015)
The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960-1980
October 24, 2014 - January 11, 2015
Art Institute of Chicago
The exhibition will tour: Princeton University Art Museum (February 21, 2015 - June 7, 2015)
EINS + EINS
November 29, 2014 – February 14, 2015
Amalienstr. 45 Mgb. 80799 Munich Germany
He has received numerous awards from institutions including the Rockefeller Foundation (2004), the Durfee Foundation Artist Award (2001), the Flintridge Foundation Visual Artist Award (2000), the Gluck Foundation (1998–1999), the J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts (1990), the California Arts Council (1996), Art Matters, Inc. (1996), and National Endowment for the Arts (1987 and 1980).
2010 Latino Heritage Month was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by a wide spectrum of supporters in Council Chambers at the famed Los Angeles City Hall, where Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa presented the Latino Heritage Awards: Spirit of Los Angeles Willie Herrón III, Patssi Valdez, and Harry Gamboa Jr. accepted the award on behalf of Asco), Dream of Los Angeles Tony Plana, Hope of Los Angeles Plácido Domingo.
In 2005, Gamboa founded Virtual Vérité, an ensemble performance troupe that he directs while producing fotonovela, audio drama, video, Internet, and live performance projects:
Sidewalk Quinceañera 
Calibre Libre 
He is a member of the faculty at California Institute of the Arts, School of Art, Program in Photography and Media.
He has taught at various universities and art institutions, including California State University, Northridge, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Riverside, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, San Diego, Otis/Parsons, and Maine College of Art.
He has delivered artist talks at: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Harvard University; UC Berkeley; Stanford University; Dartmouth College; Cornell University; Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University; School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Centro Cultural de España, Mexico City; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda", Mexico City.
In Fall 2012, Universitair Centrum Sint Ignatius Antwerpen - UCSIA sponsored Gamboa to present, La La Land: Deflections and Recollections, an artist talk at Universiteit Antwerpen. He also worked with students and faculty of Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) along with Belgian artists Ria Pacquée and Nico Dockx to produce "actions" in Antwerpen and Brugge.
His photographs are in the permanent collection of Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
His photographs are in the permanent collection of Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
His photographs are in the permanent collection of Wiliams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA.
His photographs are in the permanent collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY.
His lithographs are in the permanent collection of Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, University of California, Los Angeles.
His oral history is included in Smithsonian Archives of American Art (1999). His oral history is also included in Alternative Projections, Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945-1980, a project of Los Angeles Filmforum (2011).
A permanent collection of his media works/papers has been established and archived at Green Library, Stanford University.
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Vie 21, Photo Journal 1 ; c2014. ISBN 1500706868 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Worker Ant (1) ; c2013. ISBN 1493544349 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Aztlángst: La La Fotonovela (Volume 1) ; c2011. ISBN 1-4505-6964-1 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Pix ; c2011. ISBN 1-4565-1742-2 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Fallen ; c2010. ISBN 1-4505-6964-1 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; Rider ; c2009. ISBN 1-4486-7030-6 (paperback)
- Gamboa, Harry Jr.; edited by Chon A. Noriega. Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, c1998. ISBN 0-8166-3051-8 (hardback), ISBN 0-8166-3052-6 (paperback)
- Chicano Male Unbonded. B&W Photography series 1991-2010.
- Alarmist Gets Her Curl, 2005. From the series Siren's Post-Acid Complex. Edition of 40. 16" x 24" inches.
- 113 Degrees of Separation, 2010. From the series Siren's Post-Acid Complex. Edition of 40. 16" x 24" inches.
- "No Movie for Asco: Harry Gamboa Jr & Rita Gonzalez" on YouTube. Online video released 2013.
- "ASCO Interviews". Online video released 2013.
- "Harry Gamboa Jr. - Baby Kake - Artist's Video Projects - MOCAtv" on YouTube. Online video released 2013.
- "Harry Gamboa Jr. - Untunnel - Belgium". Online video released 2013.
- "Asco: Elite of the Obscure Symposium - Conversation with Mario Ontiveros, Harry Gamboa, Jr., and Sean Carrillo - Williams College" on YouTube. Online video released 2012.
- Erased: Limits and Borders - Harry Gamboa Jr. - Smithsonian American Art Museum" on YouTube. Online video released 2011.
- '1440 frames - vol.08.13.09 - 1 minute', 35mm films, July 20, 2009
- The Candid Frame #14 - Harry Gamboa Jr.. Podcast released 2006.
- Harry Gamboa, Jr.: 1990s Video Art, Volumes 2 and 3. DVDs released 2004.
- Red Tide on YouTube. DVDs released 2001.
Exhibition + Project Catalogues
- The City Lost and Found Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980. Yale University Press, 2015.
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., 2014.
- Performance as Archive , Archive as Performance. Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp (Belgium), 2013.
- Glam! The Performance of Style. Tate Liverpool (England), 2013.
- ASCO: Elite of the Obscure: A Retrospective 1972-1987. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011.
- MEX/LA: Mexican Modernisms in Los Angeles 1930-1985. Museum of Latin American Art, 2011.
- L.A. Xicano. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2011.
- Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981. Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011.
- Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles Art, 1945–1980. Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.
- Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2008.
- This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs. The Huntington Library, 2008.
- Los Angeles 1955-1985 Birth Of An Art Capital. Centre Pompidou, 2006.
- Only Skin Deep. International Center of Photography, 2003.
- Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2000.
- Global Conceptualism. Queens Museum of Art, 1999.
- 1995 Biennial Exhibition. Whitney Museum of Art, 1995.
- Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985. Wight Art Gallery, 1991.
- Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s. Museum of Contemporary Art, 1992.
- L.A. Hot & Cool. MIT/Bank of Boston, 1987.
- Harry Gamboa Jr., 1990's Chicano video art'. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2004.
- Harry Gamboa Jr., Early Chicano video art'. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2004.
- Routemaster Remix Project Live'. Ilppo Pohjola, Crystal Eye Ltd, 2003.
- Asphalto Routemaster. Ilppo Pohjola, Crystal Eye Ltd, 2003.
- Creating the Future: Art and Los Angeles in the 1970s. Michael Fallon , Counterpoint, 2014.
- A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements . Nicolas Lampert, The New Press, 2013.
- Live Art in LA: Performance in Southern California, 1970 - 1983. Peggy Phelan, Routledge, 2012.
- Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. Alex Moreno Areyan, Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
- Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics. Richard T. Rodriguez, Duke University Press, 2009.
- Technological Rituals, Stories from the Annenberg Dialogues'. Rosanna Albertini, University of Southern California, 1999.
- Chicanos And Film: Representation and Resistance'. Chon A. Noriega, University of Minnesota Press, 1992.
- Stanford University. Guide to the Harry Gamboa Jr. Papers, 1968-1995. Biography. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
- Smith, Roberta. When the Conceptual Was Political. New York Times, February 1, 2008.
- Celebrating a Partnership of Two West Coasts, Mexican-American Street Art From Los Angeles Comes to Bordeaux, The New York Times, September 9, 2014
- L'art du happening des voyous superbes d'ASCO, Le Monde, Paris, April 18, 2014
- L'art en bande organisée, Le Monde, Paris, April 11, 2014
- Le combat en images des Chicanos californiens, La Provence, Marseille, March 13, 2014
- CSUN Professor’s New Show ‘Vidrio’ Exhibits Under Hollywood, CSUN Today, March 6, 2014
- Asco: No Movies, Art Monthly, UK, December 2013 - January 2014
- Mexico City’s Best, 2013—Patrick Charpenel, Art in America, December 2013
- Los Fantasmas y Los Muros, Luna Córnea 34, Mexico City, 2013
- CSUN Professor's Work Part of Smithsonian Exhibit on American Art, San Fernando Valley Sun, October 31, 2013
- West Coast Art (Not Laid-Back) A California ‘State of Mind,’ Circa 1970, at Bronx Museum, The New York Times, July 11, 2013
- Le MAC de Marseille s’ouvre sur le monde, 20 minutes FR, May 27, 2013
- MUAC prepara ciclo de talleres sobre videoarte y visuales, El Universal, 25 de mayo de 2013
- México DF acoge una retrospectiva de Asco, un colectivo de arte chicano, El País, May 15, 2013
- Chicano Males Stare Down Stereotypes, NPR, April 25, 2013
- Circa 1970: Pacific Standard Time at the Bronx Museum, Art in America, July 11, 2013
- Building bridges between Mexican and Mexican American Art, Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2013
- Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective (1972-1987) Arrives at the MUAC, Mexico City, Arte al Día, 2013
- CSUN Prof Harry Gamboa’s Work to Be Exhibited in England and Mexico, CSUN Today, 2013
- Walking Mural: Asco and the Ends of Chicano Art , Los Angeles Review of Books, August 23, 2012
- Gallery Sonja Roesch puts prints online with the unveiling of new UNIT shop and exhibit, Culture Map Houston, August, 2012
- City after Fifty Years’ Living: L.A.’s Differences in Relation, Art Journal, Vol. 71, No. 1, Spring 2012
- Civillains, A Fotonovela, X-TRA, Summer, 2012
- Artists, actors creatively reengage with '92 L.A. riots, 'Twilight', Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2012
- Asco: Elite of the Obscure, Art in America, January, 2012
- Asco: Elite of the Obscure, Frieze, January, 2012
- Harry Gamboa of Asco: How A Chicano Performance Group Turned Oppression into Dangerous Fun, LA Weekly, December 6, 2011
- The MEX/LA Art Show: Five Things to Know, The Hollywood Reporter, December 4, 2011
- A New Pin on the Art Map, The New York Times, November 10, 2011
- End of an Era/Error, a play by Harry Gamboa Jr., East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines, November 1, 2011
- ASCO: estetica sovversiva, Rolling Stone, 12 ottobre 2011
- Southern California Stakes Its Claim as World Art Center, The New York Times, October 13, 2011
- Pacific Standard Time, puro arte de L.A. El Cultural, October 13, 2011
- Laying Claim to Its Place in the Sun, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2011
- PST Events Bring Out Actors, Artists, Collectors and Others, Society News L.A., October 7, 2011
- L.A. Stories: A Roundtable Discussion, Artforum, October, 2011
- Patt Morrison Asks: New master Ed Ruscha, Los Angeles Times, September 24, 2011
- Asco en el museo, BBC Mundo, 23 de septiembre de 2011
- A permanent Asco mural is slated for City Terrace, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2011
- Art review: 'Asco: Elite of the Obscure, 1972-1987' at LACMA, Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2011
- Chicano Pioneers, The New York Times, August 25, 2011
- Asco Returns Triumphant to LACMA, The Huffington Post, August 25, 2011
- Virtual Vérité performing for Aztlángst fotonovela, The American Show, August 19, 2011
- Last Stand, a play by Harry Gamboa Jr., Bad Subjects, Issue 81, 2011
- Blinders, a story by Harry Gamboa Jr., Global Graffiti Magazine, June 15, 2011
- MOCA's 'Art in the Streets' gets the big picture wrong, Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2011
- 'America Latina: 'Crisisss. Art and Confrontation in Latin America 1910-2010', Centre for the Aesthetic Revolution, May 24, 2011
- 'Your Art Disgusts Me: Early Asco 1971-75', East of Borneo, November 16, 2010
- 'Against the Wall: Remembering the Chicano Moratorium', East of Borneo, November 16, 2010
- 'The Artists Take Over', Los Angeles Downtown News, November 5, 2010
- 'Arizona law spurs backlash among artists', Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2010
- 'Democrats lead calls to boycott Arizona over immigration bill', The Guardian, April 26, 2010
- 'Palabra', Literary Magazine Reviews, May 26, 2009
- 'Phantom Sightings, Frieze, Issue 117, September 2008
- 'This Side of Paradise at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens', Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2008
- Artists in conversation: 'Phantom Sightings' at LACMA, Sickly Season-Notes From Mictlan, May 4, 2008
- 'Phantom Sightings at LACMA', Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2008
- Harry Gamboa Jr.: Early Video Art, Education Media Reviews Online, April 21, 2006
- 'Harry Gamboa and the Contemporary Avant-Garde', Jouvert, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2002
- 'Harry Gamboa's East Side Story', Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1994