Mighty Tanaka

Art Advising // Consultation // Curation



Studio Visit: Jean Pierre Arboleda

Small paintings, huge personality.  That is the best way I can think to describe Jean Pierre Arboleda.  His ability to compose a wildly intricate piece of art on a reduced surface is impeccable and his attention to detail is stunning.  This wizard with a paint brush has the ability to create a surreal yet lifelike interpretation of the world around him, with seemingly no effort at all.  His art work is fun, different, precise and mind blowing.  To look at photos of his work does not do it justice, as the magic of his artwork is exposed when one has the opportunity to take a moment and stand in front of his paintings and let the eyes explore and discover the hidden treasures that JP masterfully implements into his artwork.

Work in progress on the easel.  Tiger painting on the wall is a larger work of art from the artist.

I originally met JP through Hannah Yata some months ago.  Upon our initial meeting, I was immediately drawn to is charismatic sense of humor and enduring personality.  The Ecuadorian born painter had already established himself in his home country and had set his sights on bringing his unique visions to NYC.  As he relayed to me early on in our conversations, there are few opportunities for artists to be sanctioned by the government and allowed to leave for the US to pursue their chosen profession.  However, through his diligence, education and dedication, he overcame the odds and was granted the chance come to New York City to achieve excellence.  Now, as a resident of the Big Apple, he is staking his claim within the representational and pop surrealist art communities.

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JP's passion for his craft, along with his good natured attitude and exuberant outlook on life plays heavily within his work.  Choosing to use animal familiars as his subject matter, he matches them within unreal landscapes that seem to be just over the horizon of truth.  He typically paints at a small scale, packing the surface of the panel with tight detailing and an emotive color pallet.  Often times using the smallest of brushes while wearing magnifying glasses, JP goes the extra mile, demonstrating extreme patience to create a work of art that draws the viewer in and invites them to visually interact.  His uncanny sense of realism within parallel worlds provides an excellent juxtaposition that causes one to get lost within his makeshift scenery.  

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One common theme that plays into nearly all of his work is the Tree Frog.  This distinct little creature makes an appearance in most of his paintings and drawings, which serves as a familiar connection between the artist and his upbringing in Ecuador.  The Tree Frog acts as a guide, of sorts, leading the eye through another world, telling the story that JP interprets, leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusions and ideas.  The symbolism of the Tree Frog also represents a resilience and integrity within his work that enhances the scale and connectivity, making one forget that they are looking at a painting.  This amphibious entity is the gatekeeper to the imaginative universe that JP expertly creates on his panels.  

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I am exceptionally pleased to have JP's work featured on the Mighty Tanaka website.  He is the kind of individual who is a master of his craft yet humbly going about business, creating art for the sake of love and passion.  

JP's work is available for purchase through the website.  To learn more about the artist, the artwork or availability of works, please get in touch at: contact@mightytanaka.com