Nadie Deja que Muera una Flor tan Bella
This painting explores emotional vulnerability through a queer lens. The work quotes Chicago's queer fashion and culture, as well as queer internet culture. The lyrics of Don Omar's reggaeton song Ayer la Vi also inspired this work and gave it its title, which translates to "no one lets such a beautiful flower wilt." The song tells the story of a man longing for the love of a woman whose heart was broken by someone else. The artist, drawing from their own experience, applies the song's analogy between a wilting flower and heartbreak onto the figure. Rather than representing queerness through hyper-sexuality, the artist portrays the emotional moments of the queer experience—moments of tenderness, love, sorrow, intimacy and loss.
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.
Juan Arango Palacios was born in Pereira, Colombia in 1997. The artist received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois in 2020.
Solo exhibitions of Arango Palacios’s work have taken place at: Povos Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2022); Co-Prosperity Sphere in Chicago, Illinois (2022); Co-Prosperity Catskill in Catskill, New York (2022); New Image Art in Los Angeles, California (2021); Musik Curatorial in Dallas, Texas (2021); Epiphany Center for the Arts in Chicago, Illinois (2021); and SITE Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
Group exhibitions of Arango Palacios’s work include: Salon at Guts Gallery in London, UK (2022); Vernacular Glamour at Cambridge Art Association in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2022); Orchids at New Image Art in Los Angeles, California (2021); Queerness in Color at Queer Art Collective at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California (2021); Clean Slate at Gruin Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2021); A Flame Sparkling at Fluffy Crimes in Chicago, Illinois (2021); ENTRECUERPOS at Heaven Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2020); The Chicago Painters Exhibition at Happy Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2020); Undefined: Pride Month Benefit Project at Curina in New York City (2020); HYBERNATE at Workshop 4200 in Chicago, Illinois (2020); CUFFING at Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2020); among others.
Arango Palacois’ work was featured in the 2020/21 viewing program at the Drawing Center in New York City.
Arango Palacois has participated in artist residencies at The Macedonia Institute in Chatham, New York (2022); the Bed Stuy Art Residency in Brooklyn, New York (2021); and the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art Residency at Yale University in Norfolk, Connecticut (2019).
Arango Palacios has received awards from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois (2020, 2019, 2018). In 2020, the artist was the recipient of the Chicago Artists Coalition SPARK Grant in Chicago, Illinois.
Arango Palacios lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.