Jonatas Chimen

Jonatas Chimen is a Brazilian-American Symbolist painter, sculptor, performance artist, and author. His work explores personal and collective identity amidst a complicated and ever-changing cultural landscape. Chimen's exploration of identity is often drawn from his own family's history of forced conversions and survival in Spain and Portugal as crypto-Jews.


One of his most popular pieces, 'In Thy Tent I Dwell', tells the personal story of Chimen's family though their 500-year diaspora as a result of the Spanish Inquisition.

Using metaphor of a tent, Chimen speaks of the universal immigrant experience of wandering throughout time and space, as well as discusses the isolation and secret religious practices which his family was forced to adopt as far back as the Spanish/Portuguese Inquisition in the 15th century.


The tent is a multi sensory experience of nostalgia by painting, threading, writing, appliqueing on photographs, births certificates, inquisitional archives, and immigration documents. Overall, his message of embracing one's cultural identity and disclosing personal beliefs with pride is a recurring theme in his work.

Chimen is a published author of articles on the Iberian Inquisition and the Sepharadic diaspora, a theme that underlies his work. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from The University of Madison-Wisconsin, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University. Chimen has lectured in universities and art institutes across the country and his work has been featured in many major art galleries, art auctions, and venues.

In 2015, Jonatas Chimen was awarded the title of Artist of the Year by the Anti-Defamation League for his art series titled The Journey. If you are interested in seeing more of Jonatas's artwork, please be sure to check out his site here.


Return to Kulanu-Anousim Speaking Tour Announcement.