Venezuelan artist Daniel Arzola’s artwork is a form of activism he calls “artivism,” and he counts celebrities like Madonna as fans of his work. His art campaign “No Soy Tu Chiste (I Am Not Your Joke)” put him on the map—but after his art made him famous he received death threats and had to flee his home country.
Now the out illustrator has created works for this year’s Logo Trailblazer Honors turning some of the LGBT community’s most iconic figures like Cleve Jones, Alvin Ailey and the cast of Will & Grace into beautiful works of art.
“Since I was a teenager I had been creating art with a purpose, with a social voice, a cry in a universal language,” Arzola told Out in 2016. “I started with poems, then photography, and finally illustration. For me art has always been a social expression.”
Aside from illustrating modern day LGBT icons Arzola also drew figures from queer history for Traiblazer Honors such as Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Whitman and Frida Kahlo.
“Trailblazers is a breakthrough in my life because we need to talk about history, we need to create culture and teach the new generations that we exist and we changed the world,” Arzola told Logo in a new interview.
Arzola, who is now based in Chile, calls working on Trailblazer Honors a breakthrough moment because in the past so many voices told him he wouldn’t make it—but he kept creating art.
“Now I can say that I was right. I did it and now I’m here,” he added.
Watch his interview below and watch Logo Trailblazer Honors to see his beautiful artwork on display.
Below, watch Jen Richards interview Arzola and Drag Race’s Valentina on the Trailblazer Honors red carpet.
Watch the 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honors here.