No nos tenemos que agauntar

I received my BFA in photography in 2015 from Sam Houston University and my MFA in 2020 from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I became interested in self-portraiture because I didn't see myself in my art history classes. That led me to photograph my life experiences and relationships that involved my everyday life. Being a first-generation Mexican-American Chicana, it became essential to me to tell my story because, growing up, we're told: "Calladita te ves mas Bonita." That affected me all the way into my early 20s. Art has helped me find my voice. I'm able to create what has happened to me freely for little Gabi. It's been hard to find a balance in talking about super personal topics in my life. For example, my ex of 12 years broke up with me, and all I had control over the whole time was my camera. I started to photograph the whole process, and it became this beautiful body of work about resilience and finding my identity outside of the relationship. The work is not about what he did to me; it's about overcoming everything and making peace with the situation I was put in for so long.

When it comes to photographing with my family and my ex, they just got used to me having the camera around them all the time. They stop questioning why I'm taking photos and just let it happen. They've been super supportive of my work because they understand my end goal is to display a brown family in gallery spaces that we've been erased from. I photograph what I see daily: my brown family and self. I hope I inspire others to understand the importance of discussing our experiences as a minority in art.

Gabi Magaly is an emerging artist from San Antonio. Magaly received her MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She works predominantly in the medium of photography but also employs other mediums like sculptural installation and embroidery. She currently works remotely at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.