Lillian Aguinaga Bio

Lillian Aguinaga is a Peruvian-American contemporary figurative artist based in New Orleans, LA. She studied at the University of Memphis before relocating to Lafayette, LA, where she received a BFA in Painting from the University of Louisiana - Lafayette in 2010. Her Peruvian influences, combined with being raised by a single mother in the Southern United States, give Lillian a unique perspective on culture and identity.

Lillian’s striking paintings focus on the fear of the unknown, the pursuit of belonging and individuality, and perseverance in the face of great uncertainty. Through self-reflection and observation of others, she examines the transcendence of the self when we overcome our fears, embrace the unknown, and persevere.

Her own experiences with hardships and the tenacity of the strong, powerful women in her life have had an immense impact on her work. The intense color schemes capture the spirit of her subjects and evoke the sensation of stillness in chaos for the audience. Her command of light and shadow, influenced by the color and lighting effects in cinematography, leaves her audience with a sense of mystery and possibility.

Lillian Aguinaga's Official Website

Lillian Aguinaga Statement

"They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I think that’s bullshit. Our light can be dimmed and concealed by so much. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean it can’t be bright again."

My recent series, 'Hidden in Plain Sight,' has become an integral part of my healing process. The work focuses on the human experience and our response to everyday burdens, with an emphasis on mortality and grief. Through my own experiences and observation of others, I examine the feelings and thoughts that take place as we cope with stress, grief, and death. These can include the end of a relationship, a missed opportunity, stressor stacking, and especially the revocation of rights.

Grief can feel so oppressive it’s as if one can’t breathe. Oftentimes it causes apathy, and sometimes it feels like acceptance. It is isolating. It is absolute loneliness.

The subjects are composed of intense color schemes and prominent shadows in an intimate setting. This captures their spirit and evokes a sense of solitude even while they endure chaotic thoughts. While we think we’re camouflaged in our own metaphorical shadows, sometimes we get stuck in them. But in the end, shadows aren’t permanent. They expire just like life does. Time is fleeting, and we must move on.

In our shadows filled with grief and stress, our light is shrouded in darkness. Although it might not burn as brilliantly as it used to, our light still exists. It’s just hidden in plain sight.