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The Shadow of Your Smile, 2019

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper.

Gina M. Contreras

Gina M. Contreras' paintings celebrate interior moments. At once humorous and witty, dark and raw, these self-portraits don't shy away from the complexity of women processing their worlds, "relationshits" and all.

Flats for the shadow of, 2019

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper.

I think that's why a lot of people can relate to my work, because we've all had those moments.

Familiar Decor, 2018

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper

Gina's home studio, 2019

I like to place things in my room and basically do my own still lifes. I approach it in the same way my grandfather would.

Nudity is a focal point in her recent work, but the figures are not sexualized. The artist says "I love myself and painting myself nude, it's just me being free. Seeing big boobs is kind of funny, too." These self-portraits, which are inspired by real heartbreak, are about empowerment, self-love, and overcoming all those dicks in your life.

Amor Prohibido, 2018

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper

Paper Weights, 2018

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper

Amor Eterno, 2018

Acrylic, gouache, and graphite on paper

Mirroring her practice in her home studio, Gina places her figures within comfortable domestic spaces. Objects from her own home wind up in her detailed paintings, like family heirlooms, a Tom of Finland postcard, or print of the Virgin Mary. The aesthetic of her artwork (and decor) is inspired by her grandfather, whose home was filled with objects. She says, "I always loved his ability to decorate his living spaces. ... I approach it in the same way he would."