Francisco Alvarado-Juarez: Yerba Linda

Francisco Alvarado-Juárez

August 13, 2017 - January 10, 2018


Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, Yerba Linda / Pretty Weed, Gallery installation 50 x 33 x 18 feet, 2017.

Painted and cut paper bags, acrylic paintings on canvas, 3 video projections, sound, dirt, and organic material.


In my work, nature is a metaphor for the complexity of the human condition. The vulnerability of the environment should be a universal concern that transcends cultures and borders. As an artist keenly aware of the urgency of ecological practices, I have dedicated myself to creating installations that show us, through vivid and colorful shapes and volumes of space, the exuberance of nature; but also underline in a subtle way its fragility, ephemeral quality, and the urgency to protect it.

For twenty-five years, I have created installations aimed at attracting the viewer through a seemingly natural and familiar space. I use organic wastes, recycled paper in the form of thousands of recyclable grocery bags, painted and cut by hand, one by one. Students from Grand Forks contributed additional bags that joined approximately 3,600 used in this installation. All together the bags simulate a natural camouflage for the various animals and abstractions that are carefully painted, and later semi-hidden, by the protruding paper. Weeds naturally take over environments such as this.

My installation simultaneously evokes a sense of calm and chaos, while poetically alluding to complicated environmental problems for which mankind is responsible. Nature is not just something material to be plundered, it is our unique habitat: without it, we would die. The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth. This is a philosophy of urgency that we must accept and practice.

Francisco Alvarado-Juárez is an internationally recognized New York artist born in Honduras who moved to the States in 1965. He graduated from Stony Brook University in 1974 and received his MFA from the Maryland Institute in 1991. He studied color printing at the International Center of Photography in New York. After working in the photographic medium for a few years, he moved to Washington, DC, and in the fall of 1978 began to teach himself painting and drawing in a bold and colorful portraiture style. I was fortunate enough to sell a painting at the beginning of my career to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hirshhorn. That sale helped publicize my work.


Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017