“My manatee, like my work, is influenced by street art,” Says JP Almonacid. “Happy is also interactive since its base is painted in chalkboard paint. Viewers will be able to write and erase on its base (with chalk).”
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1974, Juan Pablo (JP) Almonacid was raised in Broward County, FL. At a very early age, his artistic skills would be influenced by comic books and 70’s and 80’s graffiti art. In 1993 he relocated to Bogota, Colombia, and enrolled at the National University to pursue a degree in fine arts. There he befriended the dean of fine arts, Armando Villegas, a pioneer in the post-modern art movement in Latin America, and he would complete a four-year apprenticeship under Villegas. Afterwards, he would work in his painting and sculpture studio in Bogota, exhibiting at local galleries and museums. In 2018 he relocated back to the USA and currently lives in Fort Myers, Florida. Finding himself without studio space, he began working on murals and public art. He is presently pursuing a digital design and media degree at FSW.