(Mexican, b.1968) is a mixed-media Contemporary artist based in Mexico City, Mexico. From 1988 to 1999, he studied at La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City, and, in 2001, received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, CA. In the 1990s, he established Temistocles 44, an artist-run space where he continues to have his own studio today. He has exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA; PS 1 in New York, NY; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA; the Reina Sofía National Museum in Madrid, Spain; and various other galleries and museums in Mexico, Europe, and the United States.
Abaroa’s sculpture installations attempt to open up a dialogue about the social and political atmosphere in Mexico and abroad. In his March 2012, exhibit at Kurimanzutto Gallery in Mexico City, Destrucción Total del Museo de Antropología
(Destruction of the Museum of Anthropology
) included a pile of rubble from the museum, a video ending with the detonation of a monolith near the entrance of the museum, and plans for the museum's demolition. The installation echoes Robert Smithson
works. The Museo de Antropología was built immediately after the Mexican Revolution as a way of honoring Mexico’s indigenous culture. Abaroa sees the museum as a symbol of Mexican nationalism that needs to be rebuilt through destruction.
In June 2012, Abaroa collaborated with Chinese artist Yang Zhenzhong
on The Gift Exchange
. For five months, the two artists corresponded about their respective cultures in regards to material culture. Abaroa felt that a gift exchange can be a competition about who can create the most imaginative gift, as well as a display of power (gifts in return for favors), and the creation of an expectation of reciprocity. “Even if the exchange has strict rules,” he says, “the end result is excessive and irrational from the point of view of material progress.”
Abaroa currently lives and works in Mexico City.