Victor Cartagena
Past Artist In Residence
2004

Victor Cartagena came to California from El Salvador in the mid-eighties, seeking a better environment to further his artistic career, which had been interrupted by civil war. Cartagena once said that he “immigrated, running away from a world embroiled in an unending war, and war continues to color my everyday life. Art is the primary tool we use to interpret our immediate environment and the forces shaping our world, both locally and globally. I am a living, breathing human being whose art cannot but intersect with issues of social justice, identity and class.”

Throughout his art (which included video and mixed media installations) dominant themes that play integral roles in U.S. society, such as consumer culture, homelessness, material waste and capital punishment, emerge. While in his residency at 18th Street, Cartagena was able to explore and dialogue with his own work and with himself as an artist. He had the opportunity to work on two different projects at the same time, while exploring multiple ideas that slowly found their way into his new work.

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