Fernanda Laguna (Hurlingham, 1972)
“Artistic language is a language of communication, one in which to speak outside the art system, outside the art institution. It shouldn´t be a code inside a closed system.”
Right out of Art School, Laguna exhibited her first works in 1994 at the Centro Cultural Rojas gallery, directed by artist and curator Jorge Gumier Maier, a historic venue which set the aesthetic tone for a whole generation of young artists in the 1990s Argentine scene. The show consisted of paintings that copied glittery figurines and pop singer posters, a sort of iconography for the transitional stage between childhood and adolescence. From that moment on, she has work with cartoon stickers, pieces of wool or cotton, construction paper, dried branches, buttons and erasers, to only name a few highly untraditional materials. By doing so, she created images and objects that seem to emerge from the margins of mainstream art. Its casual and spontaneous gesture celebrates the artisanal, the popular and the emotional. At the same time, in some of her paintings we can recognize a reference to art history movements of the past, such as Metaphysical Painting, or Geometry, as in her Rays series, where she explores the experience of vision by arranging stripes of contrasting colors.
In 2001, she co-founded Belleza y Felicidad [Beauty and Happiness]: an exhibition, meeting space and a low-cost publishing house outside the traditional gallery circuit. A few years later, it relocated to Villa Fiorito, where for more than a decade she has been developing an art program for children and a center for feminist activism through artistic projects. In the last decade she opened a series of independent art spaces and published nine books.