Michael Vasquez is a Florida native artist best known for his vivid paintings that represent the histories, streetwise social codes and mythic nature of a neighborhood street gang.
He was born in 1983 in St. Petersburg, Florida and in 2001 he moved to Miami to attend New World School of the Arts, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2005. Upon graduating, Vasquez began showing with Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami, Florida – where he mounted his first solo exhibition, “Family Jewels” in 2007.
Drawn from his personal experience as an only child of a single parent mother, Vasquez explored the allure of a neighborhood street gang through the perspective of a boy growing up without a father figure. Throughout his work, Vasquez presents the gang as an extended family, accompanied by its own set of values that seemed to communicate and instill a level of masculinity and toughness beyond a mother’s capability. Exploring the duality within these values and accompanying feelings, Vasquez presented mirroring aspects of pride and shame, affiliation and separation, respect and disrespect…
The works of artist Michael Vasquez present the viewer with snapshots of urban life from a safe distance. Beneath layers of thick impasto, Vasquez’s expressive brushwork and pools of saturated crimson ebb and flow with the rhythms of hip-hop music, naturalistically rendered and rough around the edges. Vasquez presents his gangster types in viscous paint, personifications of masculine identity and dominance boasting chains that drip with diamonds and flickers of gold teeth.
The exhibition that marked an exciting expansion in Vasquez’s artistic approach was Rites of Passage, in 2012. In an effort to more directly integrate his photographs—a retrospective of his career as an artist—Vasquez revisited, resized, and reassembled his images to fashion aggressive, large-scale, relief photo sculptures that narrated a neighborhood street gang’s convergence.
Michael Vasquez’s work has also been included in numerous institutional and museum exhibitions such as his aforementioned solo shows in Chattanooga, North Miami, Florida, Arizona, Washington… His work was also shown internationally for the first time in 2010, when it was included in “Franks – Suss Collection” at the Saatchi Gallery in London, England.
He lives and works in Miami, Florida.
|2015||swing/SPACE/miami (TBA)||The Freedom Tower, Miami, FL||Solo|
|2015||Portraiture Now : Staging the Self||National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Washington, D.C||Group|
|2014||Portraiture Now : Staging the Self||National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Washington, D.C||Group|
|2014||Little Haiti Country Club||Little Haiti Country Club, Miami, FL||Group|
|2014||This Crazy Life||New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||The Human Touch||Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ||Group|
|2012||Rites of Passage||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Solo|
|2012||Things Beyond Our Control||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2011||Vanishing Points: Paint and Paintings from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection||Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL||Group|
|2011||Summer Blues||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2011||Merzbau-Now||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami , FL||Group|
|2011||Florida Contemporary 2011||Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL||Group|
|2010||What Comes With the Territory||The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN||Solo|
|2010||Primary Flight||29th Street and NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL||Group|
|2010||Boy, Oh Boy||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2010||New Work Miami 2010||Miami Art Museum, Miami , FL||Group|
|2010||Franks – Suss Collection||Saatchi Gallery, London, England||Group|
|2009||How The Land Lies||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Solo|
|2009||Time + Temp||Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, FL||Group|
|2009||Franks - Suss Collection (Selected Works)||Suss Collection, London, England||Group|
|2009||CFC Charity Art Exhibition||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2009||SMALL||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2008||GEN-X: Post Boomers and the New South||Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL||Group|
|2008||Pivot Points Part 2: New Mythologies||The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL||Group|
|2007||Michael Vasquez: Authority Figures||Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO||Solo|
|2007||Family Jewels||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Solo|
|2007||Circular Reasoning (curated by Dennis Scholl)||Unit B Gallery, San Antonio, TX||Group|
|2006||Partial Recall||Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2006||Metro Pictures||The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL||Group|
|2005||O, The Games We Play||Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL||Group|
|2005||Classified (BFA Exhibition)||New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL||Group|
|2005||Co Operate||Bas Fisher Invitational, Miami, FL||Group|
|2004||Social Clash Gorilla Tactiks Solo Show||The Smith Building, Miami, FL||Solo|
|2004||The Last Show||The House, Miami, FL||Group|
|2004||I am the resurrection Project Room||Locust Projects Miami, FL||Group|
|2003||Side Slide Gorilla Tactiks and the TM Sisters||The Wynard Space, Miami, FL||Group|
|2003||Le Arte Avant Garte||W-10 Space Florida International University, Miami, FL||Group|