Jamie Chavez

Jamie Chavez

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Fine Arts represents
Jamie Chavez

Jaime Chavez inherited his predisposition to illustration from his father, but that is not the only thing he inherited. His work is unmistakably inspired by his indigenous ancestry. Huehuecoyotl, Tonantzin, Tochtli and Balam, among others, become masks/costumes/alter-egos for his subjects, usually people from his family or circle of friends. Chavez explains, “My culture, my barrio, my people, and everyday life inspire me.” Chavez was born in Los Angeles and raised in Echo Park but has not lost touch of his Tarahumara and Papago nation (Tohono Oohodam) origins. He describes himself as a city Indian who apparently lives amongst a motley crew of punks, vatos, and Aztec Gods.

The artist uses toned paper as an homage to Mexican crafts, but is also fond of the way “the paint pops” against the brown. He buys his supplies from his favorite local hardware/art store. Black India ink, acrylics, Prisma colors and Rapidographs bring his characters to life. He showcases his detailed portraits, usually 2-3 per week, on his Instagram, which he personally maintains until he gets a website. His gallery is stunning, but it is also an interesting way of doing business. Chavez responds to each question, every accolade, and all comments are public.

Chavez was a teenager when the riots took over LA and martial law declared an enforced curfew. He has seen a lot of change in his neighborhood. Currently, the change come in the form on vegan restaurants, bars, and fancy boutiques. But to Chavez, gentrification is more than trendy new eateries, it is “the displacement of families and businesses.” This is not a race war though, the artist explains, “my neighborhood has always had white people living here. But the new white folks who have moved in have this vibe like ‘we own this now what are you doing here?’ There are a few good new folks who have moved in but overall, gentrification destroys the culture.”

Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez
Artwork by Jamie Chavez

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