Juan Arango Palacios colombian american painter queer artist
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Juan Arango Palacios
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May 4, 2022
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The hypnotizing safe-havens of Juan Arango Palacios

From their monochromatic compositions that remind us of these hazy queer nights where you lose yourself in an ocean of bodies without losing your sense of safety to their colorful presentation of lush vegetation like an invite to a queer paradise, Juan Arango Palacios’ paintings are exciting yet comforting eye-candies.

Growing up in Pereira, Colombia, Juan Arango Palacios always loved to draw. Raised in a traditional Catholic family, church imagery was a primary influence on their artistic vision. As his family was looking to build a better future, they had to move to the US where they had to adapt to a whole new culture and a whole new language. An experience that had a great impact on their construction but allowed them to have a multiplicity of perspectives to draw inspiration from.

From their childhood notebooks to their high school art classes, Juan Arango Palacios never stopped creating and chose to make it his career path, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts he graduated in 2020 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In this city, they found a community of queer artists that are now their primary source of inspiration and growth. Influenced as well by queer internet culture, queer fashion, and tattoo culture, their monochromatic paintings depict the Latinx queer club scene. You’ll have to wait a bit to discover the cowboy hats, freshly done nails and all the other little details Juan Arango Palacios hides in their vibrant creations.

Using oil and acrylic paint, Juan Arango Palacios doesn’t hesitate to implement more unusual materials like rhinestones in the paintings he creates with reggaeton in the background. Through those paintings, they want to glorify the idea of safety in a queer experience, something that lacks in our current representations.

Far in settings but not in meanings, their jungle paintings evoke a special memory Juan Arango Palacios holds dear from their years in Colombia. After a mutual coming out with a classmate, they would venture into the lush forests surrounding the schools to kiss and talk about their queerness. The jungle paradoxically makes for a safe haven, as for the Chicago nightclubs. Scroll down below to discover them.


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