John Jota Leaños is an interdisciplinary artist working in animation, installation, and performance. His works address social issues by merging traditional Chicano and mestizo cultural expressions, such as Day of the Dead imagery, with contemporary media and technology. Through the use of humor and popular songs, Leaños confronts topics such as how war, border violence, and globalization intersect with class, gender, and race. He has created a series of “populist animations,” including Los ABCs:¡Qué Vivan los Muertos!, that use mariachi music to critique war.
Portrait photo courtesy Kim Harrington.