Jônatas Chimen (b. 1981) is a Brazilian-American Symbolist painter, sculptor, performance artist, and writer. His work explores personal and collective identity amidst a complicated and ever changing cultural landscape. The artist’s exploration of identity is often drawn from his own family's history of struggle to retain its Jewish identity after the Spanish Inquisition. Jônatas Chimen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University. He is also the co-editor the Journal of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian Crypto-Jews.
Embedded in the paint of Jônatas Chimen's creations are history, emotion, spirituality and personal passion. The artist works in the tradition of Spanish realism. Bold figures and carefully chosen inanimate objects situated against dark backgrounds appear to glow and rise from the canvas. His message of embracing one’s cultural identity and disclosing personal beliefs with pride is a recurring theme in his work. Though he lives in a time period where he feels free to express his spiritual core, Jônatas Chimen has not forgotten his crypto-Judaic roots. His family’s story of a concealed religious identity has motivated his choice of subject matter. Paintings by the artist substantiate the religious freedom that he has enjoyed discovering in the United States.
To find more information about Jônatas Chimen, please visit: www.jonataschimen.com