Chagoya was born in Mexico City in 1953, but has lived in the United States most of his life. He is currently a Full Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History. His work can be found in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Metropolitan Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Des Moines Art Center in Iowa; LA County Museum of At in Los Angeles; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; and the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University among others.
He uses familiar pop icons to create deceptively friendly points of entry for the discussion of complex issues. Through these seemingly harmless characters Chagoya examines the recurring subject of cultural clash that continues to riddle contemporary life. Recently his work has been addressing issues on immigration and the economic recession.