Julio Salgado turned to art after he had trouble finding his own voice—now the Latinx artist is using his work to express the reality of being a queer individual and an undocumented immigrant.
“To be a 35-year-old gay man, undocumented immigrant, being able to talk about my art—I’m very lucky,” he explained. “A lot of times it’s not until we’re dead that we are seen as, like, valuable.”
Born in Ensenada, Mexico, Julio Salgado immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1995. He struggled to find his place, identity, and sense of belonging in an environment that isn't always welcoming. As a teen, he joined an art class and was moved by the works of famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Through art, Julio discovered his voice, identity, and passions in life. Art helped Julio come to terms with being a queer, Latinx man, and the fact that he is a flawed human—just like everyone else. He strives to make intentional art. His reality is unique, but he knows he isn't alone. That's why he's sharing his story and art with the world, so that other undocumented immigrants find their voice and are inspired to pursue their passions.