Sandra Antongiorgi

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Artist Statement:
I create art that explores themes of social justice, community, heritage, and traumatic aftermath. It reflects culture in a multitude of media including etching, painting, encaustics, woodwork, installation art and song. My work considers the way in which people are marginalized and objectified. It speaks against mass incarceration as an enormous machine that makes a mockery of the humanity it traps inside. It examines our collective silence in response to child sexual abuse, the objectification of women, and the way women and their children are weighted and bound by domestic abuse. By seeing abuse in stark terms, it is hoped that the viewer will be compelled to respond with an appreciation for the importance of actively upholding human dignity. My work also examines the way in which social stigmatization is internalized, inhibiting the ability to see our abundant beauty. It depicts the beauty of the self, exploring the imperfections caused by the forces of life. These include the symbols of the self as divine and mysterious phenomena, even in suffering. It is my intention to reveal the inherent splendor within each and every one of us; the indestructible absolute; the miracle that make us whole.
Relationship to Chicago:
Chicago is rooted in the arts. Growing up in the streets of Pilsen and Little Village, being surrounded by a rich tradition of mural painting and being mentored by some of the most influential artists in the city played a vital role in my development as a musician and visual artist. Throughout my life I’ve collaborated on and designed a number of murals around the city, from Humboldt Park to Hyde Park and have had numerous installations, exhibitions and solo shows. As wonderful as this city is, Chicago also has a history of violence, corruption, marginalization, and the economic stigmatization of people of color. Growing up in the inner city, I was exposed to some of these forces early on. My art not only reflects my story, but the story of so many other people of color who, like me, grew up in neighborhoods where the city made little to no investment and who experienced institutional and interpersonal trauma. Yet, in my community, like many others, the people invested in their own neighborhood, supporting small, family owned businesses, providing much needed social services to families and offering countless opportunities for artists. My art lies somewhere in between the joy and the trauma of community. Currently, my work focuses on bringing to light injustices both within and outside the city and state, exposing trauma, and bridging divided communities. I also continue to work with diverse groups, from youth to adults, using art as an outlet for self-expression and healing.
Year of Birth:
Country of Origin:
Puerto Rico
Places Of Residency:
Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV.
Art Form:
Drawing, Installation, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking, Assemblage, Encaustic.Assemblage, Encaustic.