By deploying a range of media and visual strategies, Julio César Morales investigates issues of migration, underground economies, and labor on personal and global scales. Morales works with whatever medium lends itself to a particular project. He has painted watercolor illustrations that diagram human trafficking methods, employed the DJ turntable, produced neon signs, creates videos, photographs, prints, and installations, re-enacted a famous meal, all to elucidate social interactions and political perspectives.
Morales’ artwork has been shown at venues internationally, including the Lyon Biennale, France; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Prospect 3 Biennial, New Orleans, LA; the Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Singapore Biennale, Singapore; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany; Rooseum Museum of Art, Malmo, Sweden; Fototeca de Havana, Cuba; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Nordic Watercolour Museum, Skärhamn, Sweden; muca-Roma, Mexico City, Mexico.
His work has been featured in publications, including The New York Times, Artforum, The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Frieze Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Phoenix New Times. His work is in private and public collections including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Kadist Foundation, The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and Deutsche Bank, among others.
Morales was an adjunct professor at The San Francisco Art Institute and associate professor in Curatorial Studies at The California College for the Arts. Morales was an advisor and writer for The San Francisco Art Quarterly magazine. He was a contributing curator for the Japanese pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale and is currently curator of visual arts at Arizona State University Art Museum.