Noé Olivas (b. San Diego, California) investigates the Mexican American experience through the lens of a Californiano. Through his artwork, he takes into consideration the relationship between labor and leisure as it fits into the conceptions of femininity and masculinity, specifically by evaluating the mancha or stain of machismo and its correlation to patriarchal culture. By forming sculptures, drawings, and prints that play with and reshape cultural references, Olivas explores his experience growing up in a working-class family through the use his family’s personal archive and other found domestic and utilitarian objects and materials. His work aims to highlight how these objects portray and mimic language, particularly Spanglish with its rhythmic convergence of two languages spoken in Latin American homes. Integral to his practice is also the notion of style and coolness and the possibility for these qualities to be modes of survival that allow people access to power.
Olivas' works has been exhibited at the La Jolla Historical Society, La Jolla, CA; San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA; The New Children’s Museum, San Diego, CA; The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; Bread and Salt, San Diego, CA; Centro de Cultura de Raza, San Diego, CA; and Helmuth Projects, San Diego, CA. Olivas received his BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego in 2013 and is currently a MFA candidate at University of Southern California. He lives and works in South Central, Los Angeles, CA.