Employing a range of media and visual strategies, artist, educator, and curator Julio César Morales explores issues of migration, underground economies, and labor, on personal and global scales. Morales works by whatever means necessary: In an indelible series of watercolor illustrations, he diagramed means of human trafficking in passenger vehicles, while in other projects he has employed the DJ turntable, neon signs, the historical reenactment of a famous meal, or the conventions of an artist-run gallery to explore social interaction and political perspectives. Morales’s artwork has been shown at Lyon Biennale (Lyon, France); Istanbul Biennale (Turkey); Los Angeles County Art Museum; Singapore Biennale; Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt, Germany); Prospect 3 (New Orleans, Louisiana) SFMOMA (San Francisco); Perez Art Museum (Miami, Florida); and The UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), amongst others. His work has been written about in Flash Art, The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, Art Nexus, and Art in America. His work is in private and public collections including MoMA, The Los Angeles County Art Museum, The Kadist Foundation, The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and Deutsche Bank, amongst others. He is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris and currently Curator at the ASU Art Museum.
Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2020
I was born in Tijuana, Mexico and lived there til my family immigrated to the United States and literally moved one block to the border city of San Ysidro at the age of 6. This experience and crossing the border on an almost daily basis instilled an experience that carried on to my art-making process today.”