Javier Torres

Written by Javier Jauregui

How does art come to be?


It’s a process, one that is unique to the creator, where no method is the same for everyone. How do we compartmentalize intimate, deeply personal experiences? How are they brought to life? By what means? What do the channels that we navigate say about who we are?

Puzzle is a focus on the artistic process and the ties to identity. Why create? In what form? There is something mysterious, curious, and simple about how we come to express ourselves. May it be dance, painting, graphic design, writing, music, fashion, or photography. There is intent, one that resonates with the essence of our being.


Javier Torres has muscular dystrophy. His art reflects his process. It provides a light on his experiences, adding depth to his work. Puzzle is a piece that holds a mirror in front of the audience, and asks, “What do you see? And how?” Puzzle is hope; a hope to evoke feelings, positive or negative.

Inspiration isn’t necessarily good, nor is it bad. Inspiration is a catalyst, a reaction. In that same light, Torres wants to awaken something inside of us.

What artist doesn’t want that?

What makes Puzzle unique is the emptiness it provides. Puzzle is a colorful, four-piece, geometric tabula rasa -absent of any clear goal, a clean slate. It acts as a rorschach test, pushing the viewer to project unexplored thoughts or ideas into their realm of consciousness. Art isn’t a process that ends with a finished product. It continues in the realm of the public, in the conversations it sparks, the feelings that come to surface.


Art continues in you, the viewer.

I wonder, what will you see?

A Puerto Rican transplant, Jose Javier Torres works with colorful geometric shapes and lines. Everything he creates is about personal experience, and something that comes from his own story and identity. His drawings are all created digitally due to his physical limitations as a result of muscular dystrophy. He enrolled in graphic design courses at the Kent Career Technical Center in high school, and continues to master the art on his own. Torres has lived in Grand Rapids, MI since 1999, moving into the Grandville Avenue corridor in 2003.


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