The Andy Warhol Foundation i...
Michael Vasquez is a Florida native born in 1983 in the town of St. Petersburg. He has gained notoriety for his paintings depicting neighborhood street gang culture.His paintings pay homage to the histories and social codes of street gangs.
As a child raised by a single mother, Vasquez explored the street gang culture as a means of extended family. Vasquez intertwines an outside set of values unique to gang culture throughout his work, as well as elements of family and loyalty. His art also expresses dualistic feelings of shame and pride, respect and disrespect, and affiliation and separation.
Vasquez uses viscous paint to bring his gangster type figures to life, using expressive brushwork to personify masculinity and dominance in his paintings.
In 2001, Vasquez moved to Miami to attend the New World School of the Arts, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. In 2007, two years after his graduation, Vasquez displayed his first solo work of art titled “Family Jewels” at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami.
An exhibition called “Rites of Passage” in 2012 broke career ground for Vasquez. The exhibition allowed him the freedom to directly incorporate his photographs. He rearranged and blew up photographs he has taken that narrated the meeting of a street gang.
Vasquez’s work has been shown at many galleries and exhibitions nationwide, and his art was displayed internationally for the first time in London at the Saatchi Gallery for the “Franks-Suss Collection.” Vasquez is based out of Miami, where he lives and works.