Oscar Magallanes grew in the Azusa barrio. His artwork is heavily influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. After a troubled youth and his expulsion from high school at the age of fifteen, Oscar was accepted into the Ryman Arts program which he credits with encouraging him to pursue a career in art.
From 1998 to 2003 Oscar’s studio was located in the Pomona Arts Colony. Oscar also worked closely with late Gilbert “Magu” Lujan in expanding his Mental Menudos that met regularly at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Los Angeles for 2 years. In December 2005/January 2006, Oscar served as a representative with a People of Color Delegation, visiting the autonomous zones established and governed by the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. Oscar was also co-founder and Art Director of Chican@ Art Magazine during its first year.
Oscar has curated, guest curated and co-curated many exhibitions. In 2008, Oscar curated 5 exhibitions at Galeria Rustica in the Pomona Arts Colony. In 2010, Oscar was instrumental in Self Help Graphics participation in the international print fair, Philagraphica. He also curated a Self Help Graphics and Art exhibition at Sol Collective in Sacramento, CA and co-curated a day of the dead exhibition at Smoking Mirrors Gallery in Pomona. In 2013 he c0-curated LA/SA (Los Angeles/San Antonio), and again in 2016 for Gravelmouth Gallery in San Antonio, Texas. Currently he is working on two Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions.
Oscar served 3 years as the Chair of the Ryman Arts Alumni Association and Alumni Representative on the Board of Directors. He also served 4 years as a board member for Self Help Graphics and Art. Located in East Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics & Art is an internationally recognized center for Chican@ and Latin@ arts that develops and nurtures artists and printmaking. Oscar is also a member of the Inner-City Arts Young Professionals Advisory Board. Inner-City Arts is considered one of the finest arts education programs in the nation, provides elementary, middle and high school students, many living in Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods with tools and skills that help them achieve academically.
Oscar continues to create and exhibit his artwork from his studio in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.