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José y Daniel


José Roque, born and raised in El Salvador, has lived a life full of challenges and self-discovery as an openly gay individual. From an early age, he felt attracted to men, even before fully understanding what that meant. He studied Computer Science at the Instituto Tecnológico Centroamericano ITCA-FEPADE and worked as a coordinator in the Computer Lab and in the Academic Registry of a school. During his time at ITCA, he formed a relationship with Willy, which tragically ended when Willy was murdered, plunging José into a deep depression.

José had always been part of the Catholic Church, but he decided to leave behind his active involvement in religious groups and his political engagement with the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) to finally express his true identity. In 2020, José decided to publicly come out as gay, and in 2021, he participated in his first LGBT+ march. However, he faced verbal and psychological violence from neighbors and people close to him, leading him to file an anonymous complaint that resulted in the temporary detention of the aggressors. Little did he know that this action would put him at the center of direct threats to his safety and well-being.

These threats and constant fear for his life led José to make the decision to flee El Salvador and seek refuge in Mexico, where he found support at Casa Frida. Currently, José is waiting to establish himself in a place where he feels safe and free, with the hope of building a more promising future.

Daniel Dugan

At the age of 10, Daniel began to develop his distinctive style of art, drawing meticulous mazes: “a line” that never crosses and is evenly spaced. For Daniel, mazes represented a problem-solving exercise that challenged him and tested his patience and precision, much like any maze, symbolizing the spirituality of calming the mind and navigating the path. Daniel graduated with honors in biology and pre-medicine, worked in surgery for a while, but “the line” became his obsession.

Daniel has been recognized by various media outlets, including Angeleno Magazine’s “Art Issue,” Numeró Netherlands, Zion St. Bath’s, and The New York Post in their top 20 photos of Art Basel Miami. El Heraldo de México called him “The Maze Artist,” and his work has been featured in Architectural Digest China, Reforma, Quién, Traditional Home, and the LA Times.


Break on Through, 2023


HDF, wood, acrylic, and paint

210h x 90w x 3.50d cm