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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Exposition at STAMP Gallery features work of queer Latinx artist

By: Gabriela Tomasi da Silva

Artwork by Hoesy Corona exhibited at Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland on Feb.8, 2023 (John Valencia)

The Unfold Exposition at STAMP Gallery features the work of the Queer Latinx artist Hoesy Corona.

By exploring the different magnitudes of garments as a means of expression, the exposition invites the audience to reflect on clothing’s power to influence the binaries of human existence.

The multidisciplinary artist Hoesy Corona discovered art as a means of expression as a kid when they used drawing to understand their surroundings as they moved from Mexico to the United States.

Gifted from an early age, the artist recalls that teachers would point out their artistic inclinations; but it wasn’t until transferring to a private school during their first year of high school that Corona started to see the possibility of pursuing art as a career.

After deciding to become a professional artist, Corona strove to get a college education while working full time, often having to adapt their artwork to time restrictions. Despite the challenges, Corona didn’t compromise the effort and thoughtfulness behind the projects.

Inspired by Mexican culture, the artist has intuitively allowed bold color to become a highlight in their work. However, Corona’s Mexican heritage hasn’t always been celebrated in the artistic field.

Artwork by Hoesy Corona exhibited at Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland on Feb.8, 2023 (John Valencia)

The artist recalls their first experience with discrimination when using elements of Latin culture in their art. One of their college professors commented on their work being “Mexican” in a depreciative tone as if associating the elements with poor quality and distastefulness.

Corona recalled viewing the hateful comment as an opportunity to resignify the way his heritage was perceived. “Do you mean sophisticated and well done?” they replied.

Their Latin roots have also become a barrier in navigating the art field in the United States as Corona faced the challenge of honoring culture through artwork while also being an American artist.

The artist emphasized the harmful tendency of grouping Latin artists together and mentioned the increase in American artists using the term Latinx. The term allows U.S based artists to show their ties with Latin culture while not being excluded from the American category.

This distinction is relevant because it helps artists fight the tendency of being placed in the in-between space, which prevents them from fully being a part of the art scene in the United States.

“Latinos in the United States have always been the immigrant, the other, the foreigner. Even if you are many generations in,” said the artist. “At the end of the day we are American artists,” they added.

Inspired by their identity, Corona’s work explores the interconnectedness of social issues while gently inviting the audience to take a step further in their self-introspection.

In the 2017 Climate Immigrant series, Corona wanted to problematize notions surrounding immigration and climate change by focusing on how they interconnect.

In this series, the climate immigrants wear climate ponchos, defined by the artists as wearable sculptures that also exist in gallery settings as objects.

“The ponchos signify the concepts of living in relationship to nature and also having to protect ourselves from it,” said Corona.

This notion of wearable art is what connected Corona’s project to the Unfold Exposition.

The themes presented in the art pieces include the active displacement of people by natural situations, which affects the immigrant community’s definition of who they are as a community.

Additionally, in covering the performers’ faces, the viewer is reminded of the dehumanization of immigrants.

These aspects allow for open interpretation from the viewer inviting them to review their beliefs on immigration.

The UMD art history student Isabella Chilcoat appreciates the statement behind Hoesy’s art pieces.

“I think it’s great that Hoesy can connect those intersecting issues and bring them to the forefront with something that visually entices people and makes them want to talk about it,” said Chilcoat.

Corona has a busy year ahead as an artist. They plan to continue to invite viewers toward self-reflection through his upcoming projects.

Coming soon, in May, the artist will do a performance at Adkins Arboretum, which will include a selected pathway with performers carrying suitcases and bodysuits along the way, with audience members able to join the caravan.

Now, students can enjoy Corona’s artwork and engage in thoughtful conversations about clothing’s power to shape our reality by visiting the Unfold Exposition at STAMP Gallery. The exposition is free and open to the public until April 30, 2023.

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