My work explores issues of ethnic identity, including aspects of cultural, familial and social traditions,relating to my Mexican heritage. The subject matter, portrayed through various elements of still life, portraiture and urban landscapes, are a further reference and exploration into traditional Mexican customs.
Peña is currently working on an extended series he calls LAST STOP. This show is drawn from that series. Of the series, Joe, says
"Viewed as an extension of my paintings of meats, this current series began with a late night visit to pickup a couple of tacos from a truck that I often frequented and on the way had noticed an unusual sight. The street light that illuminated the area was not working and the only light visible was the glow coming from inside the truck. While not necessarily unusual in itself, from a distance this view gave the truck the appearance of it almost hovering in the rich black emptiness of space. It was a mysterious and surreal scene. I quickly took out my phone to snap a couple of shots, picked up my tacos, then went home to make some sketches. Since then I’ve visited numerous food trucks/stands to take photos and sketch while observing the atmosphere both in and outside of these locations. Each truck/stand has its own presence and the visitors become its culture."
Voracious Spaces runs through May 13th