Gabi Magaly was born in Bryan, Texas in 1993. She works predominantly in the medium of photography, but also works in other mediums like printmaking and video. Magaly received her BFA at Sam Houston State University in 2015 and is currently working on her MFA at University of Texas at San Antonio. Magaly has had a solo show in Satellite Gallery in Huntsville, TX. Shown in group shows in San Antonio, TX and at Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg, WV.
2018 — current
My artwork takes a critical view on women who were told not to own their sexuality and questioning religious saints. Referencing Catholic saints and bible stories I would hear growing up, my work explores on questioning why, at such young age, are girls told to suppress their sexuality like told to stay virgins till marriage and shamed if they don’t. My self-portraits reproduce a modern day version of saints owning their sexuality that is often told to be sinful. Another reason why I use myself as the subject matter is because all the saints i was told to look up to never looked like me, all of them were fair skinned with blue eyes none of them had brown skin with brown eyes. And I want little girls to have a saint they can relate to even if its their skin tone.
The reason I wanted to come to UTSA is because San Antonio has such a big Latino population and culture influence on the city. I knew going into grad school that I wanted to make artwork based on my culture or my experience going up Mexican-American. Another reason why I wanted to come here is because I learn about of all the different teacher’s background, and knowing that I didn’t have to just work on photography as my medium all through grad school. Many have taught me how to work on other mediums and not make me feel dumb for not knowing certain things.
How has your experience at your school informed or shaped your work?
Coming into this program all I knew was that I wanted to make work based on my culture. So going into grad school it was a very unfamiliar environment that has helped me push myself as an artist. I had one teacher that has helped me push me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. She is always questioning why am I doing certain things in my work. When I took the first image for the series, another teacher told me to push the image in what other format could this be seen in a gallery, so I started to think how did I see these saints growing up and then I remember, blankets. If it wasn’t for those teachers here at UTSA pushing me, I don’t think I would have ever work this big of scale or on different material.
What kind of exhibition or arts-related job opportunities exist in the area for current students and recent graduates?
San Antonio has a big art community throughout the city like Blue Star Contemporary, Artpace, PASA, San Anto Cultural Arts, and theses are just the nonprofit art community. Almost all of these has programs have internships or job opportunity for students.
What’s the most memorable piece of advice you've received from a mentor?
The most memorable thing that stuck to me over the years is to never compare myself to other people and where they are in their work because all you will do is be upset and not make work cause you are to busy trying to be like them.Also please don't try to make work for others, just make work that makes you happy at the end of the day because you will never please everyone in life.
What advice do you have for prospective students looking to attend your school?
Coming to this school has been nothing but amazing, yes it’s grad school and it is hard at times but the teachers here are so welcoming and open to your ideas. I’ve never been embarrassed during critique, if my artwork isn’t quite there, they always suggest other ways getting my idea across. When starting school I was worried about being the newbie and having to prove myself to the others but it was the total opposite. All the students were so welcoming to us newbies into the family.
Where can we keep up with your photo department online?
What other artists should we be keeping an eye on?
Jessica Just, Eden Collins, Augustin Chavez, and Sonya Marie Sky. These are a few artists that are coming to mind to be on the lookout for.