Laura Aguilar’s artwork originates from her experiences as a large-bodied, working-class, queer Chicana woman. Her investigative self-portraits often feature nudity to question traditional power dynamics and ideals of beauty. In the 1999 series Motion, the naked bodies of Aguilar and her collaborators are integrated into a forest landscape, their faces primarily obscured to draw focus to the geometry of their forms. Their diverse body types and sometimes awkward poses subvert the art historical motif of the recumbent female nude in a pastoral setting, a popular subject in the canonical compositions of such modernist male photographers as Edward Weston and Bill Brandt. Aguilar applies humour to her cause, positioning her subjects in sometimes comical–yet still formally compelling–configurations.
Denise Birkhofer Collections Curator
From the Collection is a rotating display highlighting works from The Image Centre’s permanent collection.