Raphael Montañez Ortiz

Raphael Montañez Ortiz (Brooklyn, US, 1934)
Raphael Montañez Ortiz is an American artist, educator, and founder of El Museo del Barrio, in East Harlem, New York City. He worked on the margins of cultural production, creating art from non-art objects, such as domestic items, which he would unmake in a process of deconstruction.  First in London in 1966 and then in New York in 1968, together with a group of artists including Yoko Ono, Wolf Vostell, Peter Weibel and Al Hansen, he participates in the first Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) led by Gustav Metzger. The principal objective of DIAS was to focus attention on the element of destruction in happenings and other art forms, and to relate this destruction to society. Ortiz also incorporated indigenous elements to the process of deconstruction, underscoring his awareness of indigenous cultural practice and its possibilities as a model for contemporary aesthetics.