Laura Aguilar


Laura Aguilar (October 26, 1959 – April 25, 2018) was an American photographer. She was born with auditory dyslexia and attributed her start in photography to her brother, who showed her how to develop in dark rooms. She was mostly self-taught, although she took some photography courses at East Los Angeles College, where her second solo exhibition, Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell, was held. Aguilar used visual art to bring forth marginalized identities, especially within the LA Queer scene and Latinx communities. Before the term Intersectionality was used commonly, Aguilar captured the largely invisible identities of large bodied, queer, working-class, brown people in the form of portraits. Often using her naked body as a subject, she used photography to empower herself and her inner struggles to reclaim her own identity as “Laura”- a lesbian, fat, disabled, and brown person. Although work on Chicana/os is limited, Aguilar has become an essential figure in Chicano art history and is often regarded as an early "pioneer of intersectional feminism” for her outright and uncensored work. Some of her most well-known works are Three Eagles Flying, The Plush Pony Series, and Nature Self Portraits. Aguilar has been noted for her collaboration with cultural scholars such as Yvonne Yarbo-Berjano and receiving inspiration from other artists like Judy Dater. She was well known for her portraits, mostly of herself, and also focused upon people in marginalized communities, including LGBT and Latino subjects, self-love, and social stigma of obesity.

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Photographer was a key figure in the Chicano and queer art scenes of Los Angeles. Her best-known work is a series called 'Latina Lesbians.'

Country of birth

United States


Artist, photographer

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Laura Aguilar

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 21, 2024.