Liliana Guzmán’s Blue Sky Gallery Solo Exhibition

Next to Myself, Apr 6 – 29, 2023

Extending from within the body and outward, Next to Myself combines painting and photography to reflect upon the formation of the self as an individual with social and ethnic components. Photographic elements ground the body in a concrete physical space while paint emphasizes what the mind perceives. Stemming from my background as a bicultural Colombian-American woman, this series addresses the sociocultural dualities of my exposure to different conceptions of the Latinx female body. In private family spaces as well as in religious social environments such as church or school, the body is either celebrated or restricted. The manifestation of cultural and personal dualities is one of the main threads expressed throughout this artwork.

Each piece is a culmination of layers; the photographic print, gouache paint, charcoal, and other mark-making objects. The meaning and influence of touch and emotional performance (masks) are both prominent in my artwork. The use of the mask obscures the face and acts as a mechanism to compel the viewer to identify with the woman. The yellow circles are derived from the religious iconography of the halo, which is meant to signify light, divinity, and a distinct separation between the holy and the laymen and women. Next to Myself emphasizes how ethnicity, gender, and memory continuously build upon the many layers that make up who you are.

Liliana Guzmán (Colombian-American, b. 1993, she/her/hers) is a photographer and painter whose artwork entwines topics of the body, memory, sexuality, and the hidden landscapes of the self. In May of 2021 Liliana completed her MFA in Photography at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University Bloomington. Her photographic practice incorporates a wide range of techniques and mediums from film photography and alternative processes to digital photography, painting, and drawing. Through the recurring subject matter of hands, touch and gesture, Liliana’s artwork expresses touch as not only a formative and intimate experience but as one that establishes both internal and external connections within ourselves and those around us.

Liliana’s series Next to Myself first exhibited at the Amalie Rothschild Gallery in her birth town of  Baltimore, Maryland in May of 2022. She is the recipient of the Blue Sky Gallery Award from Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2022 and was chosen in the 2021 Lenscratch Student Prize: 26 to Watch. Next to Myself will next travel to Candela Gallery in Richmond, Virginia in May of 2023.