Karl Orozco is a project-based visual artist who engages the public in investigations of cultural symbols and popular iconography.
Featured in If You Can Make It
Flip flops, adhesive vinyl, acrylic, and PVC foam; 2021; Dimensions: 11.5in H x 4in W x .5in D
Stop motion animation with flip flops, adhesive vinyl, acrylic, and PVC foam; 2021
" Oras Na and VII are an investigation of the parallel histories of footwear and the division of class in the Philippines. I wanted to collapse these class divisions in a contemporary way, and began dressing up mass-produced flip flops as trendy Air Jordan basketball sneakers. These “tsinelas” represent a lineage of Marikeño shoemakers who studied and recreated imported shoes, and later unionized to push back against early stages of global capitalism."
In 2021, Orozco collaborated with Little Manila Queens and The Laundromat Project to create a public art activation in Woodside, Queens centered on basketball footwear, class, and labor organizing. Orozco received the inaugural 2019 Art in the Parks grant for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which he used to create a sculptural maize mosaic that served as a pixelated backdrop for Mexican Indigenous dancers to commemorate the death anniversary of Moctezuma II. He was the 2018 National Artist-in-Residence at the Neon Museum of Las Vegas, NV, where he transformed their expansive studio into an intergenerational, community gambling space influenced by his grandmother’s underground Manila mahjong parlor. Karl was 2019 Making Policy Public Design Fellow with the Center for Urban Pedagogy. He is currently based in Albuquerque, NM.