Born in Glendale, CA and raised in the Mexican countryside, Antonio Pelayo uses his artwork to question ideologies of home, identity, and trust. Moving from a quintessential American suburb replete with white picket fences to a tiny village of adobe churches urged Pelayo to adapt, while simultaneously searching for himself amongst the teasing cries of other children. Looking for solace, he picked up a pencil and began to draw using the murals of Frida Kahlo, Digeo Rivera, and Orozco to inspire him.
Upon moving back to Glendale, his world was once again upended and he once again used his artwork as a way to forge connections. In 1994, he joined Disney Studio’s Ink & Paint Department where he learned traditional celluloid animation techniques. It was in this context that Pelayo could imagine his own portrait works could be exhibited, and have a direct, powerful impact on an audience. The intimacy and vulnerability between the subject and artist is one facet of what inspires Pelayo to create hyper realistic and extremely detailed portraits. A stark contrast to the lineworks that he has worked on at Disney for over two decades, his fine art pieces explore the most intimate pieces of ourselves.