Thursday, April 5, 2018

Laura Aguilar Fearlessly Reclaims Her Body And Her Journey Through Life With "SHOW AND TELL"

Laura Aguilar Fearlessly Reclaims Her Body And Her Journey Through Life With "SHOW AND TELL"
A Powerful Voice for the Invisible Emerges with Raw Honesty"
Photos: courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar
Lesbian, Latina and large-bodied, Laura Aguilar fearlessly reclaims her body and her journey with Show and Tell: the headline-grabbing exhibition that captured the heart of the art world during the recent PST: LA/LA, the massive art initiative led by the Getty. During this unprecedented exploration of Latin American and Latino art, Aguilar’s show was hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed of all the 70+ exhibitions at cultural institutions across Southern California. “Show and Tell” now makes it East Coast premiere in Miami at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU through May 27, located on the campus of Florida International University.

The first comprehensive retrospective of the American photographer’s work assembles more than one hundred photographs and video spanning three decades. A rebellious and groundbreaking Chicana, Aguilar’s retrospective has been heralded nationwide for establishing the artist as a powerful voice for diverse “invisible” communities, and for courageously disrupting repressive stereotypes of beauty and body representation. Often political as well as personal, the bold portraits cut across performative, feminist and queer art genres.

The images captured through her lens reflect Aguilar’s struggles with depression, obesity, self-acceptance, prejudice and misogyny.

Challenged by auditory dyslexia, she struggled with words and turned to her camera to penetrate the underground LGBT world around her in the East Los Angeles of the 1980s and 90s. Her later works cross into never-before-seen territory: Aguilar’s daring self-portraits juxtapose her over-sized, naked body alongside desolate terrains, hulking boulders and stark bodies of water.

The guest comment book inside the galleries of the Frost Art Museum is already overflowing with hand-written messages proclaiming shock, outrage, loneliness, hope and inspiration, ranging from “How could you do something like this?” to “I’ve been waiting for something like this all of my life."
"Laura Aguilar's works express raw honestly without demanding a singular response, and we are seeing how her exhibition is providing transformative experiences for those who are open to it," said Jordan Pomeroy, the Director of the Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum FIU. "We are honored to be selected as the venue where the public can currently experience Aguilar's powerful approach to camera work, and her humanistic eye on her subject matter. Exhibited outside of its native Southern California context, Aguilar's exhibition resounds strongly to our East Coast, Latin American and Caribbean audiences - with universal truths about the ways we view others who may not look like ourselves or share our backgrounds. We are witnessing a strong response from our local audiences, including our many visitors from all over the world."

The exhibition was curated by Sybil Venegas, and was organized by the Vincent Price Art Museum (where it was originally presented as part of PST: LA/LA), in collaboration with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.


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