California based artist Jose Arenas creates works that explore dual identities, personal ritual, migration, and the displaced feeling that occurs from growing up in two countries. Born in San Jose, California, Arenas spent much of his childhood traveling between Northern California and Guadalajara, Mexico. His experiences navigating two worlds along with its complex process of integration and assimilation has informed his work in a variety of ways. By combining decorative patterns, culturally assigned symbols, and familiar abstract forms, he creates an emotionally resonant narrative that remains open to interpretation. His dense collage approach reflects among other things the handmade Mexican street signage found both in Mexico and in many Mexican neighborhoods in the United States.
Arenas received a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995), and an MFA from UC Davis (2000). His work has been exhibited throughout the United States. Cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. Recent solo & group exhibitions include Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art, NY, Luna Rienne, CA, Cindy Rucker Gallery, NY, Ground Floor Gallery, NY, and Nancy Margolis, NY.