J. Carino is the pseudonym of a California-based figurative artist working in a variety of mixed-media. He is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and an award-winning illustrator and animator.
"I am interested in the interactions between people and nature, and how the creation of our sense of self is connected with the natural world. I have particular interest in how, for queer people like myself, our “natural” is often seen as “unnatural”, and the reflection of this marginalization in our experience of nature. In my work there is a process of uncovering the human history of a natural landscape, literal and symbolic, as well as the uncovering of the reflections of natural landscapes in our bodies and the ways we see ourselves. I like to play with distortion and abstraction, losing and rediscovering the figure and the landscape as I work on a piece, and how that evolution presents itself in the finished work. Like many queer people, there is a dichotomy of wanting to be seen as a whole person, sexuality included, but also the fear of people seeing too much. My figures, often self portraits, inhabit landscapes of abundance and fertility, lush with ferns and fruit, like an eden where these fears dissipate. Through my work, I explore the complicated influence of intimacy, sexuality, and being seen, especially as it relates to gay relationships and our ability to connect with one another and ourselves.”