My name is César, but some call me Pelón. I am a Chicanx artist born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. My parents emigrated from Mexico and by being the youngest of five children, I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity for creative expression. I have completed my BA with Honors in Visual Arts from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island—having also studied architecture and public art at the University of Veracruz in Mexico. I am currently working on my MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My first solo exhibition, Hijo of Two Naciones, occurred at the List Art Center of Brown University in April 2017.
Identity is the reassuring of the self within the struggle of making sense of the relationship between presence, history, and our bodies. My work stands as an extension of my lived experience as a first-generation, queer, Mexican-American Chicanx with disabilities—through which I construct my identity and body; an invitation for a speechless conversation to understand the complicated self. Finding myself at the intersection between painting, sculpture, and crafts, I engage these processes through the lens of my cultural upbringing, particularly food. Materials take the form of the edible, like corn tortillas, as a means of conceptually exploring the nourishment of the body, mind, and identity by way of the familial. Using this language, I begin to question and deconstruct the binary in gender, ab/normal psychology, and Mexican-American while at the same time dwelling in their interconnectedness. My purpose is to make work that speaks to the multicultural experience and bring to the forefront the unique, personal background constructed through living—a pursuit in offering an intimate space for storytelling.