Minerva Cuevas was born in Mexico City in 1975. She’s a conceptual and socially-engaged artist who creates sculptural installations and paintings in response to politically-charged events, such as the tension between world starvation and capitalistic excess. Cuevas documents community protests in a cartography of resistance while also creating mini-sabotages—altering grocery store bar codes and manufacturing student identity cards—as part of her non-profit Mejor Vida Corp / Better Life Corporation.
Several of the artist’s works take the form of re-branding campaigns—exhibited as murals and product designs—that question the role corporations play in food production, the management of natural resources, fair labor practices, and evolving forms of neo-colonialism. Cuevas finds provocative ways to intervene in public space, whether through the deployment of billboards and posters, or by hacking public utilities to provide discounted or free services. Cuevas addresses the negative impact that humans have on animals and the environment through sculptures coated in tar and tender paintings of animal rights activists, imagining a society that values all living beings.
Minerva Cuevas attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas UNAM (1997). Cuevas’s awards and residencies include the Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst Stipend in Oldenberg (2004) DAAD Scholarship (2003), and The Banff Centre for the Arts (1998). Cuevas has had major exhibitions at Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporaneo (2013); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013); Museo de la Ciudad de México (2012); Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012); Liverpool Biennial (2010); Berlin Biennale (2010); Whitechapel Gallery (2010); KW Institute for Contemporary Art (2010); Centre Pompidou (2010); SFMoMA (2008); Van Abbemuseum (2008); Biennale de Lyon (2007); Kunsthalle Basel (2007); Bienal de São Paulo (2006); and the Istanbul Biennial (2003), among others. Minerva Cuevas lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico.
In today’s episode from the Art21 Exclusive digital series, Minerva Cuevas considers the implications of President Trump’s proposed border wall, and reflects on her 2010 work Crossing of the Rio Bravo.