Ruben Ortiz-Torres was born in Mexico City in 1964. Educated within the utopian models of republican Spanish anarchism soon confronted the tragedies and cultural clashes of post colonial third world. Being the son of a couple of Latin American folklore musicians he soon identified more with the noises of urban punk music. After giving up the dream of playing baseball in the major leagues, and some architecture training (Harvard Graduate School of Design) he decided to study art. He went first to the oldest and one of the most academic art schools of the Americas (the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City) and later to one of the newest and more experimental (Calarts in Valencia CA). After enduring Mexico City's earthquake and pollution he moved to Los Angeles with a Fullbright grant to survive riots, fires, floods, more earthquakes, and proposition 187. During all this he has been able to produce artwork in the form of paintings, photographs, objects, installations, videos, and films. He is part of the permanent Faculty of the University of California in San Diego. He has participated in several international exhibitions and film festivals. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the California Museum of Photography in Riverside CA, the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid Spain among others.
After showing his work and teaching art around the world, he now realizes that his dad's music was in fact better than most rock’n roll.