‘When people ask me where I’m from, I never know how to answer. Born in El Salvador, growing up illegally in California then spending my adult life in the UK. What does that question mean and why do people ask it?’
Studio Lenca photographed by Marc Hibbert (c) 2022
Studio Lenca is the working name of artist Jose Campos – ‘Studio’ referring to
a space for experimentation and constantly shifting place; ‘Lenca’ referring
to the name of the artists ancestors from El Salvador.
Jose Campos was born in La Paz, El Salvador and like many had to flee the
country during its violent civil war during the late 1980s. He travelled to the US
by land, illegally with his mother and grew up in the gaze of a strictly
conservative administration - an ‘illegal alien’. Studio Lenca is focused on ideas surrounding difference, knowledge and
visibility. He works with performance, video, painting and sculpture.
Studio Lenca photographed by Sarah Bates (c) 2022
Studio Lenca’s process starts with personal memories and is underpinned by
social activism and different forms of praxis.
Studio Lenca paintings tell an autobiographical story which navigates
borders and identities destroyed, redrawn and erased through colonisation
and war. The portraits depict the artist and his community proudly wearing
hats and vibrant colours in noble defiance of the ‘western’ discourse around
"Esta fregado 2" 2022
Kitchen "mantel" scrubbed with cleaning chemicals