Ivan Camarena Art
The challenges associated with living in Mexico and studying in America have deeply influenced the styles and themes of my artwork. The dualities in my paintings reflect the 20 years I lived commuting between Tijuana and San Diego and growing up with influences from both countries. Until my mid 20s, my identity was like that of a light switch, constantly flipping between Mexican and American cultures.
After the completion of my undergraduate studies, the desire for new experiences led me to Los Angeles for two years where I picked up on digital practices such as photography, printing, and graphic design. Following my stay in LA, I made the transition to Houston where I switched roles into the field of art education. Being involved in education has allowed me to dedicate the time I want into my artwork as well as nurture it by instructing young students.
My artwork lies between the environments I have lived in. In a way, much like my commutes between Mexico and US, my paintings also travel back and forth between inspirations from both countries. Each painting is a playful fight between a formal art education and an interest in graphic illustration. Trading out muted tones for a brighter and diverse color palette, I focus on merging pulp comic references and aesthetics with imagery from a quotidian Tijuana. The themes I portray vary, but center on individual and social behaviors, both my own and observed.