Esteban Cabeza de Baca (b. 1985, San Ysidro, CA) is an artist whose observational paintings are dream-like impressions of his own lived experience and are often shaped toward capturing and reimagining lost cultural histories. In his work, Cabeza de Baca employs a broad range of painterly techniques, entwining layers of graffiti, landscape, and pre-Columbian pictographs in ways that confound Cartesian single-point perspective. His influences range from petroglyphs, from which many of his motifs derive, to Jackson Pollock, who, the artist notes, was in turn influenced by Navajo sand painting. He often begins his works en plein air, recasting the practice of landscape painting, which was once the preferred surveying tool of colonizers.
Cabeza de Baca has received numerous grants and awards including, a Robert Gamblin Painting Grant (2013); a Stern Fellowship, Columbia University (2013); a Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Award (2014); a Stokroos Foundation Grant (2017); and a Henk en Victoria de Heus Fellowship (2018). His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, such as: Bluer Than a Sky Weeping Bones, Gaa Gallery, (2016, Provincetown, MA); Unlearn, Fons Welters Gallery, (2018, Amsterdam); Verano, with Heidi Howard, Gaa Gallery, (2018, Wellfleet, MA); Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Gaa Projects (2019, Cologne); Worlds without Borders, Boers-Li Gallery (2019, New York); Esteban Cabeza de Baca – Life is one drop in limitless oceans … , Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, (2019, Amsterdam), and Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Nepantla, Garth Greenan Gallery (2021, New York). He has participated in over 15 group exhibitions at venues such as the Leroy Neiman Art Center (2014, 2015, New York), the Yale University School of Sacred Music (2017, New Haven, CT), the Dutch Royal Palace (2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands), and the Drawing Center (2019, New York), among others. He is currently represented by Garth Greenan Gallery in New York.