Magallanes was raised in the Azusa Barrio of Los Angeles. His artwork is influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. At the age of fifteen, he was expelled from high school, but was accepted into the Ryman Arts program at the Otis College campus which encouraged him to become a professional artist. The experience of participating in two distinct worlds continues to inform the work.
Magallanes’ work often touches down at the intersections of cultural iconography, the folkloric and the aesthetics of propaganda. While the execution of the work ask the viewer if the work is a call to action, nostalgic or tinged with irony, it serves to explore the slippage that occurs between idealism and reactionary movements as to ultimately work in the space of “elsewhere” rather than “the other”.
His work has been exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Museo CEART de Baja California Mexicali, Mexico, the National Museum of Mexican American Art in Chicago, Illinois, the McNay Museum in San Antonio, Texas, Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, New Mexico and is part of the permanent collections of the National Museum of Mexican American Art, La Salle University Art Museum and the McNay Museum. In 2014, he participated in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowship Academy. Other professional activities include serving as a board member for the arts education organizations Ryman Arts and Self Help Graphics and Art as well as a Young Professional Advisory Board member for Inner-City Arts. (www.oscarmagallanes.com)