Oscar Magallanes was raised in an Azusa, CA barrio. His artwork is influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. After a troubled youth, at the age of fifteen Magallanes was accepted into the Ryman Arts program, which he credits with encouraging him to become a professional artist. To date, Magallanes has had over 100 exhibitions, six of which were solo. He has also served as a board member for Ryman Arts, Self Help Graphics and Art, and he is a member of the Inner-City Arts Young Professionals Advisory Board. He continues to create and exhibit his artwork from his studio in Lincoln Heights.
Magallanes has spent many years painting the ubiquitous street vendor or the man selling fruit on the corner, the very same people he says have been scapegoated as “parasites sucking the economy dry. We are told this as we watch the bank bailouts. At least the street vendor is actually moving a product and puts money right back into the economy,” Magallanes said. “We need to think about the fair and equal treatment of all individuals, especially those who embody the American dream of coming to the U.S. to flee poverty and persecution, which is usually the result of failed U.S. foreign policy.”