El Brillo en tus Ojos no es Igual
This painting draws inspiration from the lyrics of Los Inquietos del Vallenato's song Buscare Otro Amor. This song tells the story of a broken-hearted man who longs for joy after having been left by the love of his life. The lyric "el brillo de tus ojos no es igual," translated in English as "the sparkle in your eye is not the same," speaks to how our perception of other people and ourselves changes after having endured a traumatic emotional episode. The artist's experience resonates with this lyric, not only in their romantic life, but also from growing up in an environment where queerness was not accepted. Arango Palacois often felt shame and disgust at their own body and identity while living in the American South—where an image of masculinity emphasized men who don't show their emotions. In this painting, the artist reclaims that image of masculinity and projects their identity onto it, while also referencing the music they experienced during their early childhood in Colombia.
With an emphasis on the figure and narrative, Juan Arango Palacios produces vibrant and lush paintings that highlight queer identities and communities marginalized through a diasporic or migratory context. The artist's colorful works depict memories, places, people and archetypes that the artist associates with the safety and survival of queer bodies—particularly in spaces that challenge their existence. In compositions centered on uplifting queer experience, Arango Palacios builds a vivid and whimsical world of sanctuary and celebration.
About their work, Arango Palacois says: "As a queer body that was raised in a post-colonial context in Colombia, my identity was shaped in the shadows of North American normativity. My sense of self was further confounded by a series of migrations that my family experienced in search of work and a more prosperous future. Moving through varying homophobic and misogynistic cultures in Louisiana and Texas, I have formed a disembodied identity that is not attached to any specific homeland and has always been challenged by the general norm."
Juan Arango Palacios’ vibrant narrative paintings depict places and people that highlight both queer identities and other marginalized communities. The artist’s lush works are centered on uplifting the queer experience—while also exploring the artist’s own experience of growing up in a post-colonial context in Colombia and the United States. Arango Palacios’ work builds a vivid and whimsical world of sanctuary and celebration.