Gabi Magaly was born in Bryan, Texas. She works predominantly in the medium of photography, but also employs other mediums like sculptural installation and intervention. Magaly received her BFA at Sam Houston State University in 2015 and is currently working toward her MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Magaly's work has been exhibited in a solo exhibition at Satellite Gallery in Huntsville, TX, and included in group shows in San Antonio, TX, Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg, WV, and in Masur Museum in Monroe, Louisiana.
Artist Statement Growing up in a Mexican-American household, my childhood was saturated with the machismo and marianismo culture. Hyper masculinity oozed brutality, control, and bad cologne. Placated and tongue biting woman doesn’t speak up, act up, and always has rice and tortillas on the table at precisely six o’clock. Daughters are being raised to submit to men, are being taught to fetishize purity and holiness. We’re expected to feed stomachs, ego, and taste for violence. With my work, I am draw from my experience within this toxic culture, and providing a call to action. For the women who don’t have a voice to feel empowered, and for the men with a little too much to say to be softened. The imagery I use within my work reference the everyday accessible household items that are traditionally associated with my Mexican household: Fiesta spices, Fideo, prayer cards, candles, blankets, and tortillas. With these items, I want them to be culturally and physically accessible. A visual language usually reserved for Abuela’s kitchen and living room is transformed into defiance, empowerment, and hopefully change. My blankets reference Catholic Saints and bible stories I heard growing up, with a critical view of women who were told not to own their sexuality and to not question theses religious saints. My self-portraits reproduce a modern day version of saints using my own image as all the saints. As a child, I was told to look up to saints that never looked like me, all of them were fair skinned with blue eyes none of them had brown skin with brown eyes. By reproducing them with brown skin, I am creating a more relatable representation that is more inclusive. As we look towards the future, my work encourages women in my culture to find the strength to forget about the old traditions and raise their daughters independently.