Geboren 1963 in Mexiko-Stadt, Mexiko
Lebt und arbeitet in Mexiko-Stadt, Mexiko


Betsabeé Romero

Cars and their significance are central to the investigations of Mexico City-based artist Betsabeé Romero. Mexico is home to a car culture, with vehicles embodying many notions of independence, masculinity and financial status, just as they do in other cultures. The country’s economic situation, however, makes it impossible for most people to trade in their cars every few years and replace them with newer models. Instead, families and communities keep their cars for longer. They consequently take on more and more meaning as more and more stories and experiences are associated with them. The artworks of Romero engage this cultural phenomenon in various ways, at times seeking to draw out the unconscious of existing cars or to use cars and components to stimulate the creation of new narratives within specific contexts.

Betsabeé Romero’s on-going engagement with automobiles began in 1997 with the Ayate Car. Invited to participate in inSITE97, a public art project that commissions works for the San Diego-Tijuana border region, Romero presented a 1955 Ford Victoria covered with textured canvas and oil-painted flowers. The interior of the car was filled with 10,000 dried roses, and the vehicle was positioned on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border fence, in the neighborhood of Colonia Libertad.

Colonia Libertad is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tijuana and known for its resistance to the pressures of the US Border patrol who monitor the fence in front of these homes. It first came into the political consciousness in the 1950s, referenced in this piece through the use of a car from this period. The form of the Ayate Car also references the male-dominated low-rider culture that originated in this area, while its flowers and allusions to the Virgin Mary “feminize” this car culture.

Through the symbolism of its form, decoration and position at the border fence in Colonia Libertad, the Ayate Car came to represent a devotional offering requesting a miracle. It speaks of the experience of Mexicans crossing the border with their “flowers”—i.e. the beauty of their cultural traditions and personal aspirations—and being rejected by North American culture. In the face of the apparently unchangeable socio-political reality of the US-Mexican border, it represents the desire for divine intervention to resolve the situation. Driven into the sand, the car appears to have been thrown over the border fence, back into Mexico, where it came from—an offering rejected, symbolic of a miracle never achieved.

The process of creating the Ayate Car had a strong impact on Romero’s practice. After moving outside of the studio and collaborating directly with the people living in Colonia Libertad, she set about actively incorporating the community into the production of many of her subsequent artworks. It is a way of working she has since pursued in diverse parts of the world, starting a series of studio-based pieces that explore the use of individual car parts and then offering reinterpretations, continually seeking, within her increasingly diverse projects, to meld populist and art historical references with the contemporary icon of the automobile.

Tobias Ostrander

Daros Ausstellungen
Ausgewählte Titel in unserer Bibliothek

Without restraint. Werke mexikanischer Künstlerinnen aus der Daros Latinamerica Collection = Works by Mexican women artists from the Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Bern, June 3 - October 23, 2016. With texts by Valentina Locatelli, Alma Ruiz (et al.), and a dialogue between Hans-Michael Herzog and Valentina Locatelli. Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz, 2016.

Betsabée Romero. Desde el otro lado de las sombras. Exhibition catalogue, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Tamaulipas, 2015. With texts by Libertad García Cabriales (et al.). Tamaulipas, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, 2015.

Dark Mirror. Art from Latinamerica since 1968. Works from the Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, September 26, 2015 - January 31, 2016. Edited by Ralf Beil and Holger Broeker. Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2015.

Dark Mirror. Lateinamerikanische Kunst seit 1968. Werke aus der Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, September 26, 2015 - January 31, 2016. Edited by Ralf Beil and Holger Broeker. Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2015.

MUAC. 2008-2015. Collection catalogue. With texts by Olivier Debroise, Graciela de la Torre, and Cuauhtémoc Medina. Mexico City, Museo Universitário Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, 2015.

Betsabeé Romero. Sin rodeos. Exhibition catalogue, Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2014. With texts by Caroline Perrée, Patricia Arias, and Jorge Durand. Guadalajara, Instituto Cultural Cabañas, 2014.

Betsabeé Romero. Urban ouroboros. Exhibition catalogue, Juan Ruiz Gallery, Miami, USA, December 2, 2013 - February 1, 2014. With a text by Francine Birbragher. Miami, Juan Ruiz Gallery, 2013.

Para (saber) escutar. Um jornal sobre a transformação de um espaço e sua memória. 23 de Março de 2013, N 00. With texts by Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, Bia Jabor, Suzana Velasco, Ana Wambier, Isabella Rosado Nunes, Roberta Condeixa (et al.). Rio de Janeiro, Casa Daros, 2013.

Sin límites. Arte contemporáneo en la ciudad de México 2000-2010. With texts by Cuauhtémoc Medina, Patricia Sloane, Guillermo Santamarina (et al.). Mexico City, RM, 2013.

Betsabeé Romero. Al ras del cielo. Exhibition catalogue, Museo de Arte de Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico, 2011. With a text by Caroline Perrée and an interview with the artist by Ángel Darío Carrero. Hermosillo, Museo de Arte de Sonora, 2011.

Cosmopolitan routes. Houston collects Latinamerican art. Exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 24, 2010 - February 6, 2011. With texts by Mari Carmen Ramírez and Gilbert Vicario. Houston, MFAH, 2011.

Estampas, independencia y revolución. With texts by Octavio Fernández, Carlos-Blas Galindo (et al.). México, D.F., Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2011.

Fetisch Auto. Ich fahre, also bin ich. Exhibition catalogue, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland, June 8 - October 9, 2011. With texts by Roland Wetzel, Hartmut Böhme, Ludger Lütkehaus (et al.). Heidelberg and Berlin, Kehrer, 2011.

Philagrafika 2010. The graphic unconscious. Exhibition catalogue, Philadelphia, January 29 - April 11, 2010. With texts by José Roca, Luis Camnitzer (et al.). Philadelphia, Philagrafika, 2011.

Al calor del pensamiento. Obras de la Daros Latinamerica Collection = Al calor del pensamiento. Works from the Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid, Spain, February 3 - April 30, 2010. With texts by Katrin Steffen (et al.). Madrid, Fundación Banco Santander, 2010.

Betsabeé Romero. Cars and traces. Exhibition catalogue, Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 24, 2010 - February 27, 2011. With texts by Sebastián López (et al.). Amsterdam, KIT Publishers, 2010.

XXXI Bienal de Pontevedra. Utrópicos. Centroamérica e Caribe. Roteiro guía guide. Exhibition catalogue, Bienal de Pontevedra, Spain, June 4 - September 12, 2010. With a text by Santiago Olmo. Pontevedra, Deputación de Pontevedra, 2010.

Betsabeé Romero. A vuelta de rueda. Brochure, published in conjunction with the Festival de México en el Centro Histórico, February 15 - April 20, 2009. With a text by Alfonso Miranda. Mexico City, Fundación del Centro Histórico, 2009.

Latin America. Auction catalogue, Phillips de Pury, New York, October 3, 2009. With texts and an interview with Vik Muniz by Karen Wright. New York, Phillips de Pury, 2009.

Migraciones: Mirando al Sur. Exhibition catalogue, Centro Iberoamericano de Formación, Antigua, Guatemala, Instituto Hondureño de Cultura Hispánica, Tegucigalpa, and Centros Culturales de España in San Salvador, Mexico City, Miami, San José, Costa Rica, Bienal de Pontevedra, Spain, December 2008-May 2010. With texts by Rosina Cazali and Claudia Toledo Reyes. Mexico City, Centro Cultural de España, 2009.

Betsabée Romero. Lágrimas negras. Exhibition catalogue, Museo Amparo, México, October 31, 2008 - January 12, 2009. With texts by Julián Zugazagoitia (et al.). Mexico City, Museo Ampara, 2008.

Informe. Collection catalogue, MUAC, Mexico City. With a text by Olivier Debroise. Mexico City, Turner, 2008.

Mestizo. Una historia del arte latinoamericano 13. Arte sin fronteras. Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, 2008. (DVD 30 min)

Estrago 4. Pequeña unidad de agresión cooltural. Managua, June - September 2007.

IKF Latin American art auction 2007. Cisneros Fontanals art foundation. Auction catalogue, IKF Latin American Art Auction at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, November 8, 2007. Miami, International Kids Fund, 2007.

La era de la discrepancia. Arte y cultura visual en México 1968-1997 = The age of discrepancies. Art and visual culture in Mexico 1968-1997. Exhibition catalogue. Museo Universitário de Ciencias y Artes (MUCA Campus), February 24 - September 30, 2007. With texts by Olivier Debroise, Cuauthémoc Medina (et al.). Mexico City, Turner; UNAM, 2007.

Catálogo general de exposiciones en la Galería Santa Fe y otros espacios 2004. Exhibition catalogue, Galería Santa Fe y otros espacios, Bogotá, Colombia, 2004. With texts by Jaime Céron (et al.). Bogotá, Alcaldía Mayor; Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo, 2006.

Barros, Fabiana de. Aberto [open] ouvert. Fiteiro cultural. São Paulo, SESC, 2005.

Betsabeé Romero. Sur. Catalogue, published in conjunction with an exhibtion at Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires and other venues in 2004/05. With a text by Corinne Sacca Abadi. Buenos Aires, Centro Cultural Recoleta, 2005.

Eco. Arte contemporáneo mexicano. Exhibition catalogue, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, February 8 - June 6, 2005. With texts by Cuauhtémoc Medina (et al.). Mexico City, Conaculta, 2005.

Special Edition (February 2005) on visual arts in Mexico, 1965-2005. Essays by Néstor García Canclini (et al.)

Las Horas. Artes Visuales de América Latina contemporánea = The Hours. Visual arts of contemporary Latin America. Exhibition catalogue, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, October 5, 2005 - January 15, 2006. With texts by Sebastián López, Eugenio Valdés Figueroa and Hans-Michael Herzog. Zürich, Daros Latinamerica / Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz, 2005.

México en Arco 05. Madrid, España. Exhibition catalogue, XXIV Feria de Arte Contemporáneo Arco 2005, Madrid, February 10 - 24, 2005. With texts by Luis-Martín Lozano (et al.). Mexico City, Conaculta; Madrid, Turner, 2005.

Quinta Bienal do Mercosul. Uma história concisa da Bienal do Mercosul. Exhibition catalogue, Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, September 30 - December 4, 2005. With a text by Gaudêncio Fidelis. Porto Alegre, Fundação Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, 2005.

Art in the Garden. Exhibition catalogue, Chicago Park District, June 15 - October 31, 2004. Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs, 2004.

Barrocos y neobarrocos. El infierno de lo bello. Exhibition brochure, DA2. Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca, Spain, October 3, 2005 - January 8, 2006. With a text by E. Javier Panera Cuevas. Salamanca, DA2, 2004.

Barrocos y neobarrocos. El infierno de lo bello. Exhibition catalogue, DA2. Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca, Spain, October 3, 2005 - January 8, 2006. With texts by E. Javier Panera Cuevas, Victor Zamudio-Taylor, Antonio Zaya, Omar-Pascual Castillo (et al.). Salamanca, DA2, 2004.

Betsabeé Romero.Y al amanecer café. Exhibition catalogue, Galería Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, 2004. With a text by Sandra Balvín. Monterrey, Galería Ramis Barquet, 2004.

Contemporary art and Latin America. Selections from the Diane and Bruce Halle collection. Exhibition catalogue, Tucson Museum of Art, March 25 - July 4, 2004, Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, September 15 - December 12, 2004. With a text by Beverly Adams. Tucson, Tucson Museum of Art, 2004.

ES2004 Tijuana. IlI Bienal internacional de estandartes = III International standard Biennial. Exhibition catalogue, 3rd International Standard Biennial, Tijuana, 2004. With texts by Francisco Reyes Palma (et al.). Mexico City, Conaculta, 2004.

La colección Gelman. Selecciones. La colección de arte mexicano moderno y contemporáneo de Jacques y Natasha Gelman. Catalogue, Fundación Cultural Parque Morelos, Muros, Cuernavaca. With texts by Hayden Herrera (et al.). Cuernavaca, Muros, 2004.

San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial. Latin America and the Caribbean. Trans/migrations: Graphic art as contemporary art. Catalogue published in conjunction with the San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, December 4, 2004 - March 6, 2005. With texts by Mari Carmen Ramírez (et al.). San Juan, Puerto Rico, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2004.

4a Bienal do Mercosul. Genetic archaeology. Exhibition catalogue, 4a. Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, Porto Alegre. Edited by Nelson Aguilar, with contributions by Eduardo Góes Neves (et al.). Porto Alegre, Fundação Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, 2003.

Agua-Wasser. Exhibition catalogue, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Goethe Institute, Mexico City, 2003. With texts by Bernd M. Scherer (et al.). Mexico City, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2003.

Ganadores Bienal Monterrey FEMSA. Exhibition catalogue, Granador Bienal Monterrey FEMSA, Monterrey, 2002. With a text by Xavier Moyssén. Monterrey, FEMSA, 2003.

MoLAA Museum of latin american art. The permanent collection. Catalogue of the permanent collection of the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA. With a text by Robert Gumbiner and an introduction by Gregorio Luke. Long Beach, California, Museum of Latin American Art MoLAA, 2003.

Octava Bienal de la Habana. El arte con la vida. Exhibition catalogue, 8th Habana Biennial, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, La Habana, Cuba, 2003. With texts by Rafael Acosta de Arriba, Hilda María Rodríguez Enríquez (et al.). La Habana, Consejo Nacional de Artes Plásticas / Centro Wifredo Lam, 2003.

Betsabeé Romero. Exhibition catalogue, Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York, October 10 - November 15, 2002. With a text by Tobias Ostrander. New York, Ramis Barquet Gallery, 2002.

Betsabeé Romero. On the freeway. Exhibition catalogue, The Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery, August 15 - September 22, 2002. With a text by John Shaw. Canberra, The Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery, 2002.

Iriarte, María Elvira, and Eliana Ortega (eds.). Espejos que dejan ver. Mujeres en las artes visuales latinoamericanas (Ediciones de las mujeres, No. 33). Santiago, Chile, Isis International, 2002.

Géneros en tránsito = Passagers en transit. Exhibition catalogue, Centre Culturel du Mexique, Paris, September 12 - October 26, 2002. With a text by James Oles. Paris, Centre Culturel du Mexique, 2002.

Galán de la Barreda, Arturo. Hablando en plata. El arte como inversión. Mexico City, Océano; Landucci, 2002.

Kahlo, Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros y el color del siglo que se fue = Kahlo, Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros and the color of the gone century. La Colección completa de Jacques y Natasha Gelman en Puebla. Exhibition catalogue, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo y Diseño, Puebla, November 2001 - April 2002. With texts by Pablo Acuahuitl Asomoza (et al.). Puebla, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo y Diseño, 2002.

Mesoamérica. Oscilaciones y artificios. Exhibition catalogue, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, August 6 - October 11, 2002. With essays by Vivianne Loría , Olivier Debroise and Carlos Sojo. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 2002.

Siglo XX. Grandes maestros Mexicanos. Exhibition catalogue, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey, December 2001 - May 2002, July 2002 - January 2003, January - July 2003, August 2003 - February 2004. With essay by Carlos Monsiváis (et al.), introduction by Jaime Moreno Villarreal. Monterrey, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, 2002.

Metropolis mexica. Aspects de l'art contemporain au Mexique. Catalogue, published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Musée de Picardie, Amiens, June 16 - October 21, 2001. With texts by Sylvie Couderc and Marco Granados. Amiens, Musée de Picardie, 2001.

Pecho Tierra. Betsabeé Romero. Obra reciente. Exhibition catalogue, Galería de Arte Mexicano, México, December 2001 - January 2002. With a text by Olivier Debroise. Mexico City, Galería de Arte Mexicano, 2001.

Secret wars. Exhibition brochure, Artcar Museum, Houston, September 21, 2001 - February 24, 2002.With an preface by James Harithas. Houston, Texas, Artcar Museum, 2001.

Ubicaciones. Arte contemporáneo de México. Exhibition catalogue, Museo Universitario de Ciencas y Arte, México, March - May 2001. With texts by Edgardo Ganado Kim and an introduction by Lily Kassner. Mexico City, MUCA, 2001.

Rubiano Caballero, Germán. Art of Latin America 1981-2000. New York, Inter-American Development Bank, 2000.

Arte contemporáneo de México en el Museo Carrillo Gil. By Osvaldo Sánchez (et al). México, Landucci; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2000.

Rubiano Caballero, Germán. Arte de América Latina 1981-2000. New York, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, 2000.

García Canclini, Néstor. Intromisiones compartidas. Arte y sociedad en la frontera México / Estados Unidos. Tijuana, 2000.

Marquet, Antonio. Betsabeé Romero. Memorias tatuadas. Morceaux choisis. 1999.

Tierra. Identidades dispersas. Exhibition catalogue, Museo Universitario de Ciencas y Artes, México, January - April 1999. With texts by Edgardo Ganado Kim. Mexico City, MUCA, 1999.

Betsabeé Romero. Exhibition catalogue, Galería Ramis Barquet, San Augustín, Garza García, México, 1997. With a text by Karen Cordero Reiman. San Augustín, Garza García, Galería Ramis Barquet, 1997.

Insite 97. New projects in public spaces by artists of the Americas = Nuevos proyectos de arte público de artistas del continente americano. Exhibition guide, Insite 97, San Diego/Tijuana, September 26 - November 30, 1997. With texts by Jessica Bradley (et al.). Tijuana, Installation Gallery, 1997.

Yard, Sally. Insite 97. Private time in public space = Tiempo privado en espacio público. San Ysidro, Trucatriche, 1997.

México ahora: Punto de partida. Mexico now: Point of departure. Exhibition catalogue, Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, January 25 - April 5, 1997, El Arsenal de la Buntilla, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 17 - July 19, 1997, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 20 - December 13, 1997, "Site to be selected", Texas, January 3 - March 7, 1998, The Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 28 - May 30, 1998, "Site to be selected", Illinois, June 20 - August 22, 1998, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, September 19 - November 28, 1998. With texts by Robert Stearns (et al.). Columbus, Ohio, Ohio Arts Council, 1997.

Betsabeé Romero. Ni cardo ni ortiga. Exhibition catalogue, Museo de Monterrey, February - May 1996. With a text by Osvaldo Sánchez. Monterrey, Museo de Monterrey, 1996.

Por mi raza hablará el espíritu. Intercambio artístico Mexico / Colombia, Abril - Junio 1996. Exhibition catalogue, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Santafé de Bogotá, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Museum Universitario del Chopo, Ciudad de México D.F., April-June 1996. With texts by Rosalba Garza (et al.). Santafé de Bogotá, Banco de la Republica, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, 1996.

Creación en movimiento. Becarios 1993 - 1994. Exhibition catalogue, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Carrillo Gil, March 1 - April 12, 1995. With texts by José Luis Martínez Hernández, Sylvia Pandolfi Elliman. Mexico City, Fondo Nacional de Bellas Artes FONCA, 1995.