Ochoa ('97)'s work typically makes use of basic building materials such as rebar, and crosses disciplines of sculpture, installation and photography. He often references Los Angeles, dealing with tensions between social class,culture, urban architecture and nature, and notions of containment and transgression. Ochoa made a mobile art gallery from his family’s old tortilla van, CLASS: C (2001–05) (above).
He brings concrete and dirt into museums (Whitney Biennal, 2008, at left) and conversely covers freeway barriers and infrastructure with wallpaper and large-scale digital prints (Extracted, 2006). In 2008, Ochoa was awarded a prestigous Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2010, he created a site-specific installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
“Ochoa’s work critiques class boundaries determined by these borders in his rejection of traditionally exclusionary exhibition styles. [He] juxtaposes refinement with grit, as did Walter De Maria and environmental sculptors like Edward Kienholz. Increasingly Ochoa studies areas where nature buttresses itself against annihilation, a cultural metaphor lending hope and vivacity to his work.” (Whitney 2008 Biennial)