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  From the Hand was a group show of work by the artists Jinny Choi, Abby Cochran, Hanna Hentze, Morgan Smith, and Oliver Stephens. Ranging from installations to realism, From the Hand focused on the hand-made nature of an artist's creation. While quite broad in its essence, artists find common ground in the shared endeavor that is creating art with ones hands. In an age that leans ever more towards digital media the hand-made quality carries new meaning. 

-While we each had our own story to tell we found a sense of kinship in the process of creation. -

  Inspired by the social struggles of this era, this body of work hones into gender and sexual identity. As an LGBTQ artist raised mostly by a single mother in a Latin American "machista" society, I am no stranger to the struggles of living in a male-dominated social structure. Elements such as internalized misogyny and catholic suppression become evident in their culpability against any who seek equal representation and opportunity.  

 

The series is comprised by four pieces that were exhibited in the group show From The Hand at the Welmont gallery in 2017.

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"Her Body, Her Choice"

122cm x 183cm

Acrylic on Canvas

2017

  Her Body, Her Choice was inspired by the historic Women’s March of January 21st, 2017. This piece uses meticulous line-work to form a mosaic of distorted figures. Prominently displayed is the pregnant mare; a proud and noble testament to motherhood. The narrative is less prominent and fades in the background; the red and relentless male ego, and the green and nurturing female support that is rising up and forming the new generation.

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  In the Repression series I explore a dark chapter of my own life. These three portraits depict myself (age 26) and two close friends. Our only commonality? We are gay. Each of us raised in a repressive culture that forbade us from experiencing our sexuality at that tender age when you are still shielded from the risks of a modern adult’s sex life. Without the sexual maturity that comes from openly exploring our sexuality in our teens, we were ill-equipped when shoved into the over-sexualized gay culture.

  Individually the Repression pieces are a testament to a true story of a gay youth who was exposed to more than they bargained for. Either being driven from home and into the arms of drug abuse, drowning in alcohol the depression of living a double-life, or risking life-long diseases due to the lack of sexual maturity that should have been developed long ago, these three individuals were put in harms way by the repressive nature of their catholic upbringing. This series explores the negative outcome repressive cultures have on gay youth and the overwhelming lack of sexual-maturity that is prevalent within modern gay culture. 

"Repression 1"
91cm x 122cm

Acrylic & Oil on Canvas
2016

  Nicholas was in high school when he came out to his family. His revelation would be met with disapproval by the Catholic-Italian background of his household. He knew this would be the case, but living a lie outweighed the challenge of opening up. Where unconditional love should have prevailed, it did not. At the age of 16 Nicholas was kicked out of his home in suburban Long Island and found himself on the streets of New York City. As is the case with many displaced youth, Nicholas fell prey to the escape drug-abuse can provide. 

Nicholas survived homophobia, but many are not so lucky. 

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"Repression 2"
91cm x 122cm

Acrylic & Oil on Canvas
2016

  Paulina grew up in Guatemala City, Guatemala. While she benefited from a good upbringing the constraints of Guatemalan culture drove her away. However, her faith and culture still weighed her down even in the United States. Unable to come to terms with herself, she turned to alcohol. The lowered inhibitions gave her a brief opportunity to express her sexuality, but overtime the drink took control. She became dependent on a substance to be herself.

Paulina survived homophobia, but many are not so lucky. 

"Repression 3"

91cm x 122cm

Acrylic & Oil on Canvas
2016

  I grew up in Antigua Guatemala. Suffering from intense social anxiety from a very young age, I struggled to navigate within society. Preferring to portray myself as what I thought people wanted from me, I lived a life deemed "acceptable" within my community. By the age of 19 I left Guatemala, and for the first time I experienced my sexuality. Lacking any form of sexual experience or education I put myself at great risk without knowing it. Within months I developed an unhealthy dependence on sex which culminated with a very real AIDS scare. While I was cleared as HIV-negative, the experience proved traumatic forcing me to clean up my act.

I survived homophobia, but many are not so lucky. 

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 © 2023 by Agatha Kronberg. Proudly created with Wix.com

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