Artist Spotlight || Gabriela Reis

IMG_9676.JPGAs an extension of our Women to Watch series, Boshemia introduces Gabriela Reis, a feminist artist, writer, and musician based in Shepherdstown, W.V. Her politically-charged body of work challenges internalized racism and Western standards of beauty while amplifying representation of minority women. She works in ink, acrylics, and coffee. You can find more of Gabi’s work in IG @femart_indigo.

From Gabi:

As a visual artist, writer, and musician, I had never anticipated my work would deviate from contemporary art, heavily driven by neo-feminism and situational comedies; then I began to notice the lack of representation in media and the blatant disregard for the unremitting oppression faced by minorities. As a woman of color, I had become desensitized and had excused our Eurocentric world of its implicit racism. I frequently fought to identify with a world that, though hosted numerous people like me, had made only a handful of attempts to acknowledge my existence; one that seemingly had no qualms with catering to a dwindling “majority.” So I began producing work in hopes to remove a highly specific aesthetic and societal stigma from my visual art. Though my work ranges from photorealism to impressionism, I have intentionally omitted features to provide viewers with a relatable piece that defies societal norms. We are the blood that courses through our veins and not a preconceived ideal that was perpetuated by Westernization.

Visual Art – Editor’s Picks

IMG_9680.JPG
Lunar Goddess from Raw & Uncut series; coffee and acrylic
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from Menstrual Series; coffee / hot chocolate / acrylic
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The Divine Trinity, ink.

Selected Poems

Burning Birthday Cards

And here I sit

Fist to my cheek

Chain-smoking to Dylan

Whose promises I hope to keep

Rereading old birthday cards

From those who wished me well

Your actions scream the words

That now send us all to hell

Take a look in the mirror

Closer than you ever looked at me

See how your choice suits you

In this land of the supposed free

Pour a drink for your lovers

Cause you never loved me

If I’d known you any better  

Then I would’ve returned every letter

You ever sent me

So where does this leave us 

With half hearted smiles over coffee

You take yours as light as the sea of those you like

And I drink my bitter toast to the world that is yours

I spent every dime you sent me

On things worth more than those missed calls

You talk of adversity

Of how my plight is your lost cause

Pour a drink for the winners

Who take their wine the same as blood

Cause they rose above us losers

Who were left to wallow in the mud

Pour a drink for your sons and daughters 

Whose lives we lost in vain

Cause they spoke of revolution

Without a color, a face or a name

*

United

All we heard were the rustle of the leaves

As they were tore from the trees

Hardened by a seemingly irreparable winter

Petrified by the ambiguity of December  

Awaiting the callous embrace of tread 

For their difference had inadvertently left them dead 

With silence deafening those who stayed

Encouraging reluctance with little aid

For those who endured the end of all it made

The branches plead for their resilience

For a triumph that triumphs brilliance

Each awaiting a visionary’s call

From one whose cry could stop a wall

That hoped to keep the truths divided

To stir the many who stayed united

Virtuous, insidious and extreme

A spectrum meant to provide the means

To antiquate a toxic world

Which sees the shade before the veins 

And is not compelled to make a change 

They revolt against the said solution 

For it only perpetuated confusion 

As if gray dozed between right and wrong

And peace could be restored in song

Those who noticed the draft before the door 

Realize these times are what their words were for

The ashes of buds lost in thought

The cherries that split the minds before the lines were drawn 

They challenge you to bring a change 

To mirror those with views that range 

The purest form of altruism is to acknowledge truth

This battle is and for the youth  

For the winds and leaves and trees are ready

For our spinning earth to now be steady 

Honor the pain that scorns your throat

And freckles the arms of the egoistic vote 

The times have changed but no one is changing 

And this is why a war is waging 

*

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