A visual artist, human rights activist, and lecturer, Daniel Arzola gained international recognition by creating the campaign “No Soy Tu Chiste” (I’m not a Joke), a series of posters that challenge transphobia and homophobia. The viral campaign was translated into twenty languages and gained support on social media from the American singer Madonna. As the creator of “No Soy tu Chiste” Arzola popularized the term Artivism which describes his artistic philosophy, using art as a communication tool that promotes his advocacy and assists in the construction of identity.
He lives and works in Minneapolis, United States.
Arzola’s art combines traditional and modern methods. Many of his works are digital illustrations printed with organic inks on canvas or cotton paper. He possesses a distinct graphic style characterized by bold colors and intricate details.
Daniel Arzola defines himself as an artivist, making his artistic production inseparable from his activism. Arzola’s initial breakthrough with “No Soy Tu Chiste” reflected his desire to challenge the discrimination facing marginalized communities, specifically the LGBTQ+ community. His work continues to raise awareness and communicate the struggles of queer people addressing specific issues facing the transgender community and the HIV-affected community. Arzola’s work persistently draws on contemporary topics, highlighting and reacting to present injustices that plague our society.
Arzola has received several important commissions, including the New York LGBT Center, the International Queer and Migrant Film Festival in Amsterdam, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 2017, Arzola was commissioned by the city of Buenos Aires to create a mural at the subway station named after the Argentine LGBTQ+ activist Carlos Jáuregui Station. The mural, measuring 14 meters, honors Jáuregui’s legacy as a champion of civil rights, and more broadly, the struggle of the LGBTQ+ community in Argentina.
Arzola has worked internationally with numerous museums, NGOs and cultural institutions. His work has been exhibited in numerous countries in North America, Latin America and Europe.
Arzola was recognized for his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community with the Trailblazer Honor Award by Logo TV. His theory of Artivism captured the attention of prestigious educational institutions around the globe. He has participated in conferences at universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, and Amherst College in the United States; the University of Alberta in Canada; the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela.
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