Juan Franco

Artist | Organizer | Educator



Co* (2014), Thesis Exhibition, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle



Installation View

Co* stands for the numerous words that begin with the prefix “Co–.” For my thesis, I sought to investigate the emotional collaborations present or absent up to this transitional moment in life. Through the performance of studio photography, I broke barriers in the delicate relationship between mother and son. My nudity confounds a paradox of innocence and maturity. The replication of this iconic image allowed my mother to hold her queer child for the first time after an acceptance of this identity. This confrontation brough us closer together. In contrast, the images of My Father’s Plans (2014), connote an image of youth from the gaze of masculinity and fatherhood. I asked what sort of expectations did my father have as the photographer capturing my childhood. In Lover (2014), I captured a delicate portrait of my romantic and sexual partner at the time. The delicate qualities served as a foil to the collection of Instax photographs that depicted sensual, erotic, and domestic moments of living with a partner. Finally, in Tabula Rasa (2013), I painted a found wood pallet white and carried it from my studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn to Manhattan via The Brooklyn Bridge. The pallet, usually a vessel for transporting materials, is transformed through my action of transporting it. By carrying a vessel, I transform its identity and purpose. Similarly, my identity and purpose are transformed  to a vessel of transportation. My body is a transporting vessel of experience, emotions, and energy in the same way the pallet is a transporting vessel of material. Thus, Co* displayed numerous representations of relationships (familial, romantic, and existential) coexisting in a shared space.




Madre e Hijo No. 1 (2014), archival inkjet print
Pieta Colombiana (2014), archival inkjet print
Madre e Hijo No. 2 (2014), archival inkjet print


Tabula Rasa (2013), video documentation of performance, Brooklyn, NY


My Father’s Plans (2014), four archival inkjet prints



Lover (2014), archival inkjet print


Mark