1971, Mexico City
Miguel Calderón is regarded as a seminal figure in Mexico’s independent art scene. His pieces often combine a dark sense of humor that is reconfigured into works that explore deep social and personal territories taking advantage of what is at hand to create low budget films and videos. His multidisciplinary practice focuses on exploring power relations, in interpersonal (often family) relationships as well as between different groups in society. He draws satirical portraits—always with a respectful regard for marginalized figures—depicting Mexico’s class society, defined by rigid hierarchies. His work often is unified by an ever-present sense of theatricality, questioning the fine line between reality and fiction. Frequently cast from the perspective of an outsider, he highlights the macabre complexity of our position as humans in the universe deftly weaving together mockery, social critique and straightforward emotions. He creates works from a mashup of vernacular references, employing a variety of media, including video, photography, sculpture, and painting.
Calderón received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994. He has been the recipient of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Grant & Commissions program (2013), The MacArthur Fellowship for Film and New Media (2000), and the Bancomer/Rockefeller Fellowship (1995).
Calderón currently lives and works in Mexico City.
His most important solo exhibitions include: El placer después (Pleasure Afterwards), kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2019); Caída Libre, Luhring Augustine, New York; Independientemente de con quien duerma, Fototeca Latinoamericana (FoLa), Buenos Aires (2017); Miguel Calderón: Color Bleed, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, New York (2012); Miguel Calderón, solo project, Casa América, Madrid, Spain (2010); Conversations with a Tropical Vulture, with George Kuchar, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010); Bestseller, Panorámica, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2009); Ridiculum Vitae, La Panadería, Mexico City, (1998).
Additionally, he has participated in group shows at the following institutions: Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City (2017); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2014); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (2014); The Foundation Cartier, Paris, France (2013); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC), Mexico City, Mexico (2011); The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California (2011); Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico (2010); Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK), Vienna, Austria (2009); National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, United States (2007), PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, United States (2002), among others.
Calderón has participated in various biennials, including: 7th Internationale Photo-Triennial, Esslingen, Germany (2007); Bussan Biennale, Bussan, Korea (2006); Sharja Biennial 7, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2005), Yokohama Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan (2005); ARCO, Madrid, Spain (1998).