New York-based Ivan Monforte was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, and an M.F.A. from New York University in 2004. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2004.  He has shown at Bronx Museum of the Arts, Longwood Art Gallery, Queens Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, Artists Space as part of PERFORMA05, Elizabeth Foundation Gallery, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, La MaMa Galleria, and Socrates Sculpture Park.  He is the recipient of a UCLA Art Council Award, a Lambent Fellowship in the Arts from the Tides Foundation, and an Art Matters grant for research in Samoa.  He has participated in residencies at Sidestreet Projects, Lower East Side Print Shop, and Center for Book Arts.


My art uses simple gestures and materials, as well as emotional language and content as strategic tools to address themes of loss and mourning, representations of class, gender, race and sexuality and the pursuit of love.  These gestures typically involve highly emotional and participatory interactions between an individual, an audience, and me. They often result in social sculptures, performance-based videos, and text-based objects.

The economy of the work is rooted in my artistic investment in dialogue and inclusion.  I am interested in the complex intellectual and emotional dialogue that can occur between a viewer and the artwork - in particular, the conversation that takes place afterwards, when the viewer is left to process the interaction. Ideally, inspiring people to re-examine and respect/accept universal truths grounded in emotions.