Julian Peña’s works are reflections of the present and relics of his past. As a 1.5-generation citizen and queer artist, his art is informed by a merging of his Japanese heritage and American upbringing. Forever residing in limbo between mixed cultures, the ambiguity became a source for visual storytelling. The artist demonstrates meticulous and painstaking processes, performed as an act of meditation. His use of colors and prismatic palette borders on the obsessive. Themes of escapism and fantasy take his viewers to a whole new world.
Using serialized avatars, narratives of a fictional universe and effects of Post-Modern society are created in his paintings. Sometimes they appear whimsical and bizarre, at other times they seem serious and banal. Fanciful creatures populate utopian worlds, inviting viewers to escape into the setting. Peña uses a visual vocabulary that addresses many different by-products of American cultural assimilation and his biracial identity.