B I O G R A P H Y
HECTOR SILVA is a self-taught artist based in Los Angeles who has been producing work for more than thirty years. Born in Ocotlan, Jalisco, in Mexico, he moved to the United states at the age of 17. He began drawing in his late 20s when he discovered his own talent Today Hector's work is collected internationally, and has received acclaim in the US and abroad.
Living in Los Angeles with its rich Latino/Chicano culture, Hector draws from the Latino tradition. Among his influences are M. C. Escher, religious iconography, pornography, Frida Kahlo, and Chicano prison art. Hector explores themes of cultural identities, eroticism and beauty. His mastery of light and shadow on skin is captured on paper with pencil.
Recent group and solo exhibitions include a retrospective at The One Institute/USC, KGB Gallery, Highways Performance Space, the Museum of Latin American Art, City of Buena Park City Hall Council Chamber, El Camino City College, the Museum of Mexican American Art, the Autry National Center of the American West, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museo Hispano de Nevada, the Erotic Heritage Museum, DePaul University, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, to name a few.
Hector's work is featured in "Triumphs of Our Communities: Four Decades of Mexican American Art," "The Cisco Kid: American Hero, Hispanic Roots," and his art is on the cover of "Good Bandits Warrior Women and Revolutionaries in Hispanic Culture," all published by the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University. He has also been featured in "Dialogo" from the Center for Latino Research at DePaul University, and "La Gente de Aztlan" from UCLA. Stanford University has acquired Hector's work for their Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections. Silva was recognized by the City of Guadalajara in 2013, and the Mexican city donated an original piece to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago for its permanent collection.
Hector Silva was recently recognized by the City of LA's Mayor's Office, the County of LA Board of Supervisors, and by the State of California's House of Representatives for his contributions to his communities with his art and philanthropic work.
In 2013, Hector was awarded a fellowship grant by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, followed by an exhibition at the L A Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.
A R T I S T’ S S T A T E M E N T
“If no one’s trying to censor you, then you’re probably not doing anything that important.”
I explore themes of cultural identity, because as Latinos, we are often erased from the social portrai--and then when you add being queer to that, we can really disappear. But I also think that the “positive image” strategy can be a trap, and as an artist, I feel responsible for showing art that is not only beautiful, but more importantly, it should be truthful.
I want my work to be accessible, to always give the viewer a way into the image. I feel that “high art” often excludes people, and I am strongly against that. I think art should invite people in, and engage them in a conversation, esthetic, political, philosophical, erotic, even religious, whatever.
When I make art, my intended audience is not only the person that attends museums and galleries. I feel very strongly that art belongs in the streets. Putting art in the streets has been part of Latino culture for a long time, and we see it all the time, from murals to graffiti. I consider myself part of that tradition. I think art belongs in the street, and on the street is a lot of art.