R.I.P.

Revisiting the Portraits of Laura Aguilar, the Pioneering Photographer Who Died This Week at 58

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

If you’ve ever come across the work of the Mexican-American photographer Laura Aguilar, who passed away at just 58 on Tuesday, then you’re probably familiar with Aguilar herself. The body of work she produced over three decades often focused on the body, and especially her own, as well as her identity as a lesbian, audio dyslexic woman of color. And even when her pictures haven’t featured herself, Aguilar was dedicated to documenting marginalized and colonized groups, like LGBTQ and Latinx communities. She was ahead of her time in doing so: The set of portraits she took at the Plush Pony, a working-class lesbian bar in downtown L.A., in 1992, for one, offers a rare glimpse of the early 90’s queer community of color. That was just one of the places and time periods Aguilar would end up memorializing that make it into the artist’s first comprehensive retrospective, “Show and Tell,” which stole the show at the expansive “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” exhibition last year. The Aguilar survey traveled to the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in March, where it will remain on display until June 3, keeping her legacy alive. In remembrance of the photographer, take a look back at her work, here.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Grounded #111, 2006.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Grounded #108, 2006.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Motion #47, 1999.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Stillness #25, 1999.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Stillness #26, 1999.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Nature Self-Portrait #2, 1996.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Motion #56, 1999.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Nature Self-Portrait #2, 1996.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, 12 Lauras, 1993.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Armando, 1984.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, At Home with the Nortes, 1990.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, In Sandy’s Room, 1989.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Three Eagles Flying, 1990.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Clothed/Unclothed #14, 1991.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Clothed/Unclothed #34, 1994.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Clothed/Unclothed #34, 1994.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Plush Pony #15, 1992.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Plush Pony #18, 1992.

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Courtesy of the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. © Laura Aguilar

Laura Aguilar, Xerox Collage #2, 1983.