Michael Menchaca’s images blend the framework of ancient Meso-American codices, European Bestiaries, and Japanese Video games with the seductive, attention-seeking digital interfaces of Big Tech. His personalized index of animal archetypes assists in translating, preserving, and mythologizing contemporary stories of social and economic inequality, racial prejudice, and surveillance business practices. Narrative pattern designs, influenced by cultural conquest patterns, set the stage for Menchaca's compositions while recurring motifs encourage multiple interpretations. He exhibits his work in immersive installations that apply a combination of printmaking, painting, and digital animation; exploring LatinX identities in a post-internet American landscape.
Born in 1985 in San Antonio, TX, Menchaca received his BFA from Texas State University in 2011, and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (ME), Vermont Studio Center (VT), The Wassaic Project (NY), The Segura Arts Studio (IN), and The Studios at MASS MoCA (MA). Exhibitions include The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), The McNay Art Museum (TX), The Davis Museum (MA), North Carolina Museum of Art (NC), The Chrysler Museum of Art (VA), The Gilcrease Museum (OK), The Contemporary Austin (TX), and the IPCNY (NY). He was a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center from 2015 - 2016 in Provincetown, MA, and is a recipient of the 2018 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Fund for the Arts Grant. Through 2020, he is co-curating the New York/San Antonio exhibition Xicanx: New Visions with Suzy González. Menchaca lives and works in San Antonio, TX.
Photo by Luis M. Garza