towards a minor abstraction (2016-ongoing). Digital drawings with multidisciplinary translations.

towards a minor abstraction consists of a cumulative series of more than 150 small digital drawings created through Drawing Desk, a free app for touch-screen phone. Beginning as an exercise in gesture and composition, this project takes up drawing, my first aesthetic language, at a point in my practice where more established conceptual and theoretical forms of working failed me in the face of personal loss and political turmoil. The drawings developed over the past 10 months share linear, non-objective qualities, and palettes that attempt asymmetrical harmonies through the use of complimentary colours. 

To pose the question of non-objective abstraction in the present brings up critical issues of translation for such work, both as a curatorial concern in the museum context and in terms of how critically- and contextually-minded artists may make use of such strategies in the present context, where visibility and identity have become not just tools for liberation, but also mechanisms of repression.

towards a minor abstraction (Translation 1). Performance lecture, 21 minutes. Performed as part of the Queer Political Theologies Symposium at the University of Toronto, organized by Ricky Varghese, David K. Seitz, and Fan Wu. Link to video documentation here

a brother is both self and other (2017). Inkjet print on vinyl, 68 x 119 ins. Created with technical support from Kurt Kraler and Manolo Lugo. Commissioned by Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art as part of the SPACE series. Curated by Georgina Jackson.

Photograph by Toni Hafkenscheid.

portrait (2014). Chromogenic print, 48” x 32” in collaboration with Manolo Lugo.

Exhibition History:
Project 31  OCAD University, Toronto 2017. Fundraiser/auction.
True Patriot Love – SUR Gallery, Toronto, 2015. Curated by Tamara Toledo
Queering Citizenship – Satellite Gallery, Vancouver, 2014. Curated by Derrick Chang

refugees run the seas... (2014-15). Rectified readymade, public art project. Billboard, postcard; dimensions variable. Created with the technical support of Kurt Kraler and Manolo Lugo.

A blue colour field captioned with the last line of Wyclef Jean’s rap in Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie.

'refugees run the seas...' is a billboard project that draws and diverts from pop culture as a way to invite the viewer to imagine an incalculable future where justice for migrants exists. The work consists of a blue colour field captioned with the phrase ‘refugees run the seas cause we own our own votes.’ The text plays with the last line from Wyclef Jean's rap in Shakira's 2006 song Hips Don't Lie. Shifting “boats” into “votes” as if misheard or mispronounced, the work simultaneously evokes painful past and present scenes of harrowing escape while allowing the possibility of a time to come when those seeking refuge will make their voices count. The blue that frames the text comes from a photograph of the sky above the billboard taken during the day. 

'refugees run the seas…' inverts the logic dominance that keeps migrant bodies beyond the lines of social mobility. Territory turns to ocean, day turns into night, and displaced bodies turn into agents of movement, rather than victims. The notion of movement is also found in the trace of the phrase's original context, which alludes to sensuality and opens up the work to potential queer readings.

Exhibition History:
Htous / Htron: The New Coordinates for America – Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto. Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio.

Migrations and Movement: Close Together – Voices Breaking Boundaries, Houston, USA
Queering the International, Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver, 2014. Curated by Laiwan.

NEW PRIMARIES (2014). Digital print on canvas; 12 x 12 inches. 

A proposition to expand the field of aesthetic education. 

Exhibition History: 
Take Home the Unknown – SAVAC, Toronto, 2014.

true colours (2014). Participatory public art project in collaboration with York University students; commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University for WorldPride Toronto. Acrylic on canvas, two panels; 5 x 48 feet each panel. Photographs by Francisco-Fernando Granados; installation image courtesy of the Art Gallery of York University.

Through a participatory process, the project repurposes the aesthetics of geometric abstraction in order to randomize the palette of LGBT and queer Pride flags.

Exhibition History:
WorldPride Parade, Toronto, 2014. Curated by Suzanne Carte.

study for The Ballad of _____ B (2013). Fine Art inkjet print on Hahnamühle paper 16 x 24 inches. Photograph by Manolo Lugo. Created with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.



______ B’s new life is
fraught with challenges. In
_________ his family
had a big house, a nice

car, and all three boys in
his family had weekly
allowances. Now _____ B sleeps
on the couch while his two younger

brothers and parents sleep in
the bedrooms down the hall.
But the clean-cut, fresh-faced
18-year-old is _____

about his life here. He
refers to ________ as his
“hometown,” proudly thumping
his chest.

“I feel ______,” he
says. “It’s ironic, I
know, because I’m not yet.
I just feel like I fit in

really well.” When he was asked
how he had endured the changes,
the lack of _______, and the
uncertainty of his

refugee status, ______ B says,
“What I lived was so ________
-- the persecution -- that
coming here means going to

bed at night without having a
pyrotechnic bomb
explode on the roof of your house,
without cars following you

around and people phoning in
the middle of the night.
“I don’t have to worry if my
dad will come home from work

safe or whether he’ll be _______.
Here I may not have a
room or an allowance but I
have peace of mind.

That’s the lesson –

_____ B is
so enthusiastic about
the group, he attends
Monday sessions at the

community centre
just for fun. “I don’t want to diss
my hometown,” he says,
“But there isn’t a whole lot to

do there at night.” The group
that gathers at the community centre
is predominantly
______-speaking. Only one boy, 


named ____ A, doesn’t speak it.
He’s from ______.
_____ B fills in as his
personal translator.


They play games at first to break
the ice. Sitting in a
circle, one member of the group

is chosen to stand in
the middle, pick someone to kneel
down in front of and say:
“Darling, if you love me, will you

Most of them hardly
get through the first word without
breaking into hysterical
laughter. Even ____ A

who has girls
kneeling and laughing
at his feet, laughs.

The Ballad of _____ B (2014). Rectified readymade script, multimedia performance installation for a stage; created for HATCH 2014, Harbourfront Centre's Performing Arts Residency. Installation photographs by Manolo Lugo. Created with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Concept: Francisco-Fernando Granados
Script: Readymade, rectified by Francisco-Fernando Granados; some sections rectified in collaboration with Cressida Kocienski
Performers: Francisco-Fernando Granados, Manolo Lugo, Maryam Taghavi
Artistic Associate & HATCH Coordinator: Margaret Evans
Lighting Designer: Andy Moro 
Associate Lighting Designer: Melissa Joakim
Stage Manager: Sandy Plunkett