Julian Peña (°1985, Okinawa, Japan) lives and works in Seattle, WA and a two-time recipient of South Sound Magazine’s Best Artist of the Year. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions including “Fool’s Paradise" solo art show at Ok Hotel & Gallery in Seattle, WA and “Strength + Struggle” group art show at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA. One of his most memorable and pivotal career milestone was at “Dawn of 2012” group show at Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma, WA. Recently, he joined other talented, LGBTQA+ artists at the Skyview Observatory for the group show "Look How Far We've Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air." He studied for his Bachelor of Art in Painting and Drawing at the University of Washington and took an intensive course in Nihonga (traditional Japanese mineral pigment painting) course with Judith Kruger in Savannah, GA.
Peña is strongly influenced by Japanese graphic design and art. He explores many different decorative techniques and rich materials to create lavishly flat surfaces with bright and bold colors oscillating across the surfaces of his works. He often draws from anime content, manga, fantasy narratives, video game aesthetic culture, and Japanese art history as his source of inspiration. He aims to create fantastical narratives we can all relate to using color harmony, memorable characters, and decorative surface textures.
Currently, Peña owns a gallery and studio in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, WA while continuing to bridge the gap between the community and art in partnership with Represent Resonate Resource 501c3.
Preferred pronoun he/him/his.