Artist makes his own path, connections to art

Dear TRENDS Diary -

I love to make surreal pieces that mess with people’s minds, and create art that gets the viewer to think.

I made a bench for Colorado Chautauqua and Cal-Wood’s “Art in the Park”. The bench is based on legends early civilizations would tell about how the days happened. The moon is in love with the sun and they’re chasing each other, or the sun needs to die every day for the moon to be born at night. Painting the bench reminded me of my previous relationship. We could both either be the moon or the sun. The title of the bench is “The Love that Separates Us.” You know you love someone, but at the same time, it just can't happen.

When I was growing up, my mother had figures of the Santa Muerte all around my house. The Santa Muerte is a Mexican folk religious deity, who kind of looks like the Grim Reaper. So I incorporate skeletons into my art. But there’s another reason for the skull and the heart in my art. They represent the fourth and seventh chakra, and I love the number 47. I always use desert landscapes to portray emptiness and loneliness inside the painting.

I don’t have a formal art education, and I didn’t start with any connections in the art world. I had to go out and find those myself. I did a piece a day, and posted it on Instagram, and over time I refined my style. I’m part of the LeftHand Artist Group now.

As a Latino artist, I can help inspire our Latino community and help people who might not want to go to school for art. I was one of those kids who didn’t care for the arts until very late in my high school career. I want to expose kids, specifically in our Latino community, to all kinds of art until something catches their eye.

- Jamie Chihuan as told to Will Betke-Brunswick