Oscar Magallanes was born June 11th, 1976 in Duarte, CA. He grew up just a few miles away in the Azusa barrio. His artwork is heavily influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. He recalls, “The first art I saw were murals of Zapata and Mexica glyphs from the Chicano movement. These were juxtaposed next to homeboy role calls and Old English writing. I didn’t see a gallery or museum until I was 15.” 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. He returned to Gladstone High School, receiving his diploma in 1994. At the age of 19 he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, returning in 1996. He currently resides in the city of Pomona California.
From 1998 to 2003 Oscar’s studio was located in the thriving Pomona Artist 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.
In August of 2007 Oscar founded the design firm Arango Designs. Arango is based on the principle of education and empowerment through art and design. Quickly building it’s clients list to include the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Mayor’s office, the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the LA County Arts Commission, to name a few.
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. Oscar continues to work closely with the Self Help Graphics Educational Print Program.
Oscar has also worked closely with several non-profits. He served 3 years as the Chair of the Ryman Arts Alumni Association and Alumni Representative on the Board of Directors. Currently he is serving his 4th year 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 uniquely styled artwork from his studio in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.