My artwork explores the syntheses of cultures as part of a larger dialogue about identity and belonging. As the first-born son of immigrant parents, I spent much of my youth trying to escape the culture of my family in order to integrate—and it was encouraged. I’m interested in exploring my Oaxacan roots as they intersect with my upbringing in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles during the 1980s. I belong to many cultures and many traditions; I cannot claim one exclusively and none would definitively claim me as their own. 

Juan Manuel Ildefonso

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