Carlos Donjuan was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1982 to Marisa and Ceverino Donjuan. Three years later, Carlos Donjuan’s parents brought him and his two younger to the USA in search of better opportunities. The Donjuan family arrived in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1985 and has called it home ever since.
As a child in school, Carlos quickly found his passion for drawing. Some of the things that he enjoyed drawing included cartoons, Lowrider Cars, comic book characters and animals. Once Donjuan became a teenager, he discovered his love for graffiti and street art. It was at this time that he immersed himself into the idea of painting and creating, whether it was legal or illegal. Painting graffiti thought Donjuan many of the basic elements of art, which included: line, tone, shape and space. In his last two years of high school, Donjuan worked closely with his art teacher, Filberto Chapa. Mr. Chapa introduced Donjuan to artists such as Rivera, Kahlo, Picasso, Magritte and Kandinsky. Working with Mr. Chapa was the turning point that pushed Donjuan to become a painter and go to college. Carlos studied under Marilyn Jolly at The University of Texas at Arlington. Professor Jolly’s guidance pushed Donjuan to become a stronger more professional painter and soon received his Bachelors of Fine Art. Next he attended The University of Texas at San Antonio where he earned his Masters Degree in Fine Art. Donjuan worked closely with Professor Ken Little, who challenged him conceptually and mentally. Ken Little thought Donjuan how to understand who he was in a more conceptual format that fit the work he was making.
After finishing with school, Carlos returned home to Dallas and got straight to work. He started working with Kirk Hopper Fine Art who has represented him for many years now. The gallery has given Donjuan an opportunity to make name for himself in the Dallas art scene. Soon the collectors started to seek him out, including Cheech Marin. Cheech Marin owns the largest private collection of Chicano Art, which includes many of Donjuan’s paintings. Cheech Marin enjoys exhibiting his collections in museums and institutions all over the world, which has allowed Donjuan’s work to travel greatly. Carlos Donjuan’s work also caught the eye of gallery owner and collector Antonio Colombo from Milan, Italy. Mr. Colombo gave Carlos his first solo exhibition in Europe. In his young career, Donjuan has exhibited his paintings in museums and galleries all over the world.
Although Carlos has focused most of his time in the studio, he has never lost his love for painting murals. He works with the collective Sour Grapes, which include his two younger brothers and some childhood friends. Donjuan has painted murals, hosted workshops and mentored at risk youths through the collective. This is a way for Donjuan to give back to the community through his mentoring and murals. He has always had a strong love for his neighborhood because it one of the main driving forces behind his work.