Juan Chavez uses objects he finds on the streets of Chicago to construct sculptures and collages that explore the relationship between nature and the built environment. Interested in the form and history of each material or scrap he collects, Chavez gives the fragments new life and meaning in his site-specific assemblages. Chavez’s works are dynamic, with areas of bold color and whimsical imagery, often inspired by the way nature asserts itself in an urban culture. Earlier in his career, Chavez created public street installations that he inserted into crevices, niches, and alleyways around Chicago. For his 12 × 12 project Chavez constructs a site-specific installation.
Chavez was the recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation award in 2001 and has also been involved with the Chicago Public Art Group since 1994.