Shop – The Visually Striking Art of Jose Cifuentes

Born in 1984 in a family of business administrators, I was the black sheep. Artist since I can remember, enrolled in art academies since I was seven years old and did poorly in any subject that did not involve creativity. When I was fifteen I moved to the U.S where I went to High School and received the Class Artist Award my Senior year, only to be a proud recipient of a full-ride scholarship to study Fine Arts at Bergen Community College in New Jersey.

After graduation, I began to paint professionally and exhibit my work numerous times throughout NJ and NYC. Due to a fucked up immigration story, I had to leave the States and move back to Medellin, Colombia, where I used my art to start a clothing brand and bring that business side of the family to fruition. The name of my brand was beFREE clothing and thanks to our award-winning business idea we suffered extortion and were forced to shut down.

After shutting down our shop, I landed a sweet gig in the biggest streetwear brand in the country and we took that company to a new level. Two years later we decided to move to Canada and start a life in a safe place where we don't have to fear for our lives and my art could flourish. Since December 2016 believe it has.

In 2019 I was the proud recipient of the Refugee and Newcomer Mentorship Grant by Toronto Arts Council and had a great opportunity to exhibit my work at Arta Gallery in the Distillery District.

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