Artist: Hugo Ivan Juarez
Host: Sofía Gabriel Del Callejo

Tio Abuelo, Alberto Alatorre, R.I.P., Woodcut


I met Hugo Ivan Juarez on a cold Sunday outside of a blue line train station in Chicago. We met in person, something uncommon these days, so he could hand me the work that I would host for more than two months in my Mexican-Pakistani home in Logan Square. Since the moment we started speaking, en español, I instantly felt a sense of familiarity that is not easy to find, especially living abroad. I knew we were going to become friends, and it was not going to be the first time we would collaborate, and I was right.

A few minutes later, when he showed me the print I was going to host, I was instantly transported home. I quickly thought about the Mexican printmaking tradition. I mentioned this to Hugo at that time, but it wasn’t until we met at his studio that he talked about the "Taller de gráfica popular" as an essential source of inspiration for this piece, not only technically but ideologically. El Taller de gráfica popular is a Mexican art collective that emerged in the 1930s, still active today, which rejects the art market and uses art to promote revolutionary ideas and address social concerns. 

Hugo created this print to honor his Tío Alberto, Alberto Alatorre, who passed away due to COVID-19 complications a few months back. Hugo made this print for his family, and it will be an open series so it can be reprinted as many times as needed. This work honors Alberto, a sewer and a craftsman who generously shared his knowledge with his nephew.  Hugo did this work as a memorial for Alberto, presenting him at his workspace, sitting in a chair looking tenderly to the left.

My Chicago family and I had the honor to host this piece in our living room for months and we felt Alberto’s powerful presence every time we were in that space, as if he were sitting on our pink couch gathering everyone around so we could listen to his story.

—Sofía Gabriel Del Callejo