Mario Ayala (b. 1991, Los Angeles) reimagines a contemporary landscape where identity, observation, and the presence of material fact play equal roles. In his paintings, Ayala brings together figures and forms drawn from every corner of his experience living on the West Coast. Ayala's work lends interest in traditions and techniques with strong visual ties to California, such as muralism, tattooing, and industrial techniques used in automobile painting and commercial signage. Ayala's influences also extend into postwar art historical movements such as the Cool School of Los Angeles and Bay Area Funk art. Ayala's highly personal, often surreal, tableaux are vivid representations of the way in which images course through the world, carrying with them fragments of the past, present, and a future still in formation. His creations live as collectively inspired documents that reflect issues, energies, and aesthetics alive in Mexican American, Latin, and Brown communities throughout the region. Ayala's sculptures, site-specific works, and collaborations embody his capacity to envision the local and the global as interwoven phenomena. Like his paintings, they locate surprising—and even unsettling—moments of cohesion in a world defined by multiplicity and rapid, ever-changing flux.
Mario Ayala has been the subject of solo and two-person exhibitions at Jeffrey Deitch, New York (2022) and Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco (2021). Recent group exhibitions include Sitting on Chrome: Mario Ayala, rafa esparza, and Guadalupe Rosales, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2023–2024); Hot Concrete: LA to HK, K11 Musea, Hong Kong (2022); and Made in L.A. 2020: a version, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2020). His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Aïshti Foundation, Beirut. Ayala lives and works in Los Angeles.