Juan Escobedo

© Shannon Bright

“I have continuously worked on a series called x J.ESC which evaluates my identity as a queer, brown person from a low socioeconomic community. I started using cardboard in the graduate program I acquired my MFA from. The material was met with a lot of resistance because of its brownness, economic value, and disposability– characteristics similar to my identity.

This resistance forced me to analyze myself and how I maneuver spaces that were not originally aimed at people with my socioeconomic background or race. As I continued working, I introduced landscapes and miniature homes made out of white materials. The miniature white spaces exist unquestioned and admired, and validate the haphazard brown landscapes and homes I had made previously.

I realized that I am no longer just a brown individual with features like cardboard, but that through my education, I acquired a code of whiteness that validated my brown identity. This white code allows me to maneuver through professional and academic spaces that my previous self was not privy to, but has created a sense of alienation from my original background.These clothes are a physical manifestation of what has been described as “the gentrification of a brown body” where the resentment and tension between these clashing identities is palpable.”

15.04. – 30.06.2024