In his artwork, Donjuan aims to take on the pejorative term “alien” and redefine its meaning with figures cloaked in sprightly shapes and patterns. The subjects are acutely personal as he often references family and friends in hopes of gaining a better understanding of his fears of not belonging, of failure, and even his own mortality. In this manner, Donjuan uses his own narrative as a first generation American to address perceptions of immigration and acceptance. His masked figures are meant to be playful and approachable, rather than a faceless threat.
Carlos Donjuan was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1982 to Marisa and Ceverino Donjuan. Three years later, his parents brought him and his two younger siblings to the USA in search of better opportunities. The family arrived in Dallas, Texas in 1985 and they have called it home ever since. After finishing college, Donjuan returned to Dallas where he began to exhibit his work and soon established a list of regular collectors, including actor Cheech Marin. With the collective Sour Grapes, which includes his two younger brothers and some childhood friends, Donjuan paints murals, hosts workshops and mentors at-risk youths.
Donjuan has taught at El Centro Community College in Dallas and at the University of Texas at
Arlington. He has shown work at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, the Latino Cultural
Center in Dallas, the Vincent Price Museum in Los Angeles, the Musee d’ Aquitaine in
Bordeaux, France, the McNay Museum in San Antonio and is a long-time participant in the
Serie Project at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin.