Mason Gross School of the Arts professor and conceptual artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz has been making art since the late 1950s, from experimental films, to Destructivist pieces, to works addressing decolonization and the Indigenous cultures of the Americas, including his own native Puerto Rico. This profile, produced in 2004, reveals the intellectual breadth and depth of his work. Ortiz has explored aesthetics, psychoanalysis, post-literacy, and more: as he describes it, “As an artist, I am serious about being intelligent in my work.”

In 1969, Ortiz founded El Museo de Barrio to focus on Latin American and Caribbean art, leading it for two years. Now, El Museo has mounted a retrospective of his work spanning eight decades: Raphael Montañez Ortiz: A Contextual Retrospective (April 14 – September 11, 2022).

Produced by Christopher Benincasa for State of the Arts. Narrated by Amber Edwards.