Alex Donis is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. Interested in toppling societies’ conventional attitudes, his work is often influenced by a tri-cultural (Pop, Latino, and Queer) experience. He has worked extensively in a variety of media including painting, installation, photography, video, and works on paper.

He was born in 1964 in Chicago, IL and was educated at a Catholic school in East Los Angeles, an east-coast prep school in Massachusetts, and a military academy on the southern coast of Guatemala. He received his undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach and his graduate degree from Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.

His work has been at the heart of several controversial incidents that have stirred national debates regarding censorship in the arts. He has participated in hundreds of national and international individual and group exhibitions, most notably: “Made in California: Art, Image & Identity 1900-2000” at the LA County Museum of Art, “Potentially Harmful: the Art of American Censorship” at Georgia College and State University in Atlanta, GA and The 10th Biennale of Havana, in Havana, Cuba. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, Flash Art, Artpapers, ArtForum, ArtNews ,the New York Times, and Art and Queer Culture published by Phaidon Press.

He was a 2005 Alpert Award nominee in the Visual Arts and has been the recipient of the Durfee Foundation’s Arts Completion Grant and the California Community Foundation Individual Artist Grant. Donis has been awarded residencies at the Brandywine Institute, Philadelphia, Artspace, Sydney, Australia, and the18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica. He was the guest curator for “Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement” which was part of the 2011 J. Paul Getty Museum initiative “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980.” His work is in the permanent collection of the LA County Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Blanton Museum of Art, at the University of Texas, Austin.



Curriculum Vitae
MFA 1994 Painting, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
BFA 1992 Graphic Design, California State University, Long Beach, CA

2008-Present Brentwood School, Brentwood, CA – Full-time Digital/Photo Faculty
1997-2008 Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA – Full-time Studio Art Faculty: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Figure Drawing, Computer Graphics & Publication Design Advisor
2002-2003 California State University, Northridge, CA – Adjunct Professor Foundation Art
1998-2000 The Getty Museum, Education Specialist
1995-2000 The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles - Museum Educator
1995-1999 The Watts Towers Art Center, Los Angeles, CA – Drawing & Painting Instructor

2012 Visiting Artist Lecture - Chicana/o and LGBT Studies Departments - UCLA
2010 Sensational Religion: Alex Donis in Conversation with Sally Promey - USC - Guest Lecture
2009 Masculinity in Conflict, Guest Lecture, Centro Cultural Bertolt Brecht, Havana, Cuba
2008 Visiting Artist /Guest Lecture, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
2007 Art & War: Alex Donis in Conversation, USC - Guest Lecture
2007 Guest Artist, Universidad Catholica Autonima, Merida, Mexico
2007 Visiting Artist & Guest Lecture, Santa Fe Art Institute & College of Santa Fe
2007 Warhola Becomes Warhol, Visiting Artist, Williams College, Williamstown, MA
2006 Visiting Adjunct Professor, Georgia State College & University, Atlanta, GA
2006 Guest Lecture, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
2005 Graduate Advisor & Lecturer, Stanford University Graduate School of Art, Stanford, CA
2004 On Censorship Symposia, Guest Lecture, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles CA
2002 Visiting Adjunct Professor, California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland, CA
2001 Guest Lecture Queer Studies, University of California, Los Angeles CA
1998 Adjunct Professor, University of Western Sydney, School of New Media, NSW Australia
1994 Visiting Artist/Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2008 Artist in residence, Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Liverpool, Australia
2000-2005 Artist in residence, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica CA
1998-1999 Artist in residence, Artspace, Sydney Australia
1992 Guest Artist in Printmaking Residency, University of Texas, Austin, TX
1990 Artist in residence, Brandywine Lithography Institute, Philadelphia, PA
1988-2007 Artist in residence, Self Help Graphics, Los Angeles CA

2011 Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists & the Artist Space Movement - Curator 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica (Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 -1980)
2011 From Stone to Glass: Michael Knight, A Survey, Curator, The Nest Gallery, Brentwood, CA
2008 Obsolete: Selected Photographs by Zelda Zinn, Curator, The Nest Gallery, Brentwood, CA
2007 Volunteers for Peace, Mural commission, Tientsin Tamil School, Bogawantalwa, Sri Lanka
2004 The Leopard Spots: Between Art, Performance & Club Culture, Curator, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica,CA
2003 Theater Arts Journal, Cover Art Commission, USC / The John Hopkins University Press
2001 Stop Requested, Metro Transit Authority (MTA), Rear Bulkhead Art Decal Design Commission
2000 Immigrant Eyes, Site Specific Installation, Angeles Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro CA
2000 River Visions, Site Specific Installation on the Los Angeles River
1999-2000 Beauty Happening, Site Specific landscape works on multiple Los Angeles freeways
1998 Aboriginal youth and a Stockman, Public poster campaign, Sydney, Australia
1993-1997 MODARTE: Wearable Art Exhibition, Curator (various locations), Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles; Bolsky Gallery Otis College of Art, Los Angeles; Downtown Art Alliance (DADA), Foundation for Art Recourses (FAR)

2008 Crossroads School Grant Recipient
2004 Alpert Award in the Visual Art - Nominee
2002 California Community Foundation Individual Artist Grant Recipient
2001 The Durfee Foundation (ARC) Grant Recipient