PH Joel

Mayan/Tseltal artist

Ocosingo, Chiapas, México, 1992.

PH Joel (Joel Pérez Hernández) is an anthropologist and visual artist of the Tseltal ethnic group, specialized in painting, sculpture and performance.

His interest focuses on researching, exploring and using materials from the Lacandona jungle, such as clays, pigments of mineral and plant origin, wood, bones, rocks and utensils of daily life, from the state of Chiapas, Mexico.

For him it is essential to keep the knowledge involved in the technique and the elaboration of materials of the native peoples, accentuating respect for the identity that the material expresses by itself. His work counteracts the tendency to make art only from the materials, techniques and canons of Western art.

In order to denounce the archaeological looting that the indigenous artistic heritage has suffered by the state and foreign institutions, in its first exhibition in 2019 called “Of gods and cyborgs” it presented pieces of polychrome ceramics, as a result of its residency at Galería MUY. There he resignified the images and symbols of pre-Hispanic Mayan culture, modifying it with the inclusion of elements that reflect the context of contemporary indigenous society such as emojis, computers, mobile phones, agrochemicals, etc.

The fresh vision that nourishes his works lies in the emphasis he gives not only to the natural and spiritual territory, which his grandparents and ancestors experienced, but also to the digital territory that is already part of the daily life of the young indigenous population.

The use of the emblematic Mayan blue and the mastery of the Mayan stucco technique is something that defines his artistic production.


  • Art of the people of Mexico, indigenous disruptions, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 2022.
  • Between knots and smoke: the home in the Mayan and Zoque contemporary art of Chiapas, Laguna, Mexico City, 2022.
  • Primer Festival Internacional de Azul Maya Ch’oj, organizado por SDCELAR y The British Museum en Dzan, Yucatán. 2022.
  • Spatel Nopvenetik (Shaping ideas), group exhibition, Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2022.
  • Virtual Cycle of Listening and Exchange of Knowledge about Music and Sound of Native Peoples in Mexico and Colombia. Episodio IV “A solas con Näwayomo: Sonoridad contemporánea maya y zoque”, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, 2021
  • International Pictorial Triennial at CECUT, Baja California, 2021.
  • Muybajan, ceramic exhibition at Estación Material, Cerámica Suro, Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2021.
  • Participation in the Week of Native Peoples in New York, 2021.
  • Alone with Näwayomo (alone with the water goddess), performance with Saúl Kak, CDMX Art Week, Zonamaco, Mexico City, 2021.
  • Composition of the confinement specifically during a curfew, virtual performance, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala, 2020.
  • Cross-Border Mayan Project, virtual exhibition, Centro Cultural De España, Guatemala, 2020.
  • Visions of Resistance from contemporary Mayan art, virtual conference, La esmeralda, Mexico City, Julio, 2020.
  • Of gods and cyborgs, solo exhibition, Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2019.

Artworks available on Tienda MUY

To see all of PH Joel’s artworks in the store click here

Axis mundi (2022)

Susurro de la vida (2015)

Moneda nacional (2016)

Artworks from PH Joel's catalogue

To view the catalogue of PH Joel, click here