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.