My sculptures encompass a personal metaphor for past experiences and events in my life. Places I have been, natural forms I have seen, emotions I have felt, and people that have impacted my life all have influenced my work.
The empty nest a mocking bird built in the spring makes me think of family, security, growth, loss and new beginnings. After a storm I observed a tree that was split in-half sprouting new leaves. I felt like a witness to its struggles and its desire to live. This is a universal experience that I relate to and feel compelled to preserve.
My sculpture is made out of welded steel. This medium is strong, direct and has a linear quality. It allows me to fully engage in the process of creating exciting structures. The surface of my sculpture has a raw translucent quality. I do not want to mask the medium, but let it tell of its past.
I once saw film footage of Marilyn Monroe frolicking on the beach in a bikini. I was surprised to see a large scar across her stomach. She could have hidden it from the cameras but she appeared to be comfortable with herself. Seeing the scar made her human and more real to me.
The welds and previous marks on the surface of my sculptures are like the scared abdomen of Ms. Monroe. Their declaration give my work a sense of history and of being real.
Common occurrences serve to stimulate my mind and spur me to capture my ideas in a concrete way. My sculpture preserves my ideas for me and invites others to make their own connections and discoveries.
Gina Laguna earned a BFA and an MFA from the University of New Orleans and has actively maintained an art studio creating large-scale, abstract steel sculptures in the Greater New Orleans area for over twenty years. She has shown locally and throughout the south in many galleries, art centers and Museums. Laguna has sculptures in private collections as well as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA and the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, LA.
After Katrina she completed a commission for a wall-mounted steel sculpture in the lobby of the Jefferson Parish Government Building in Gretna, LA.
Laguna began teaching art when she received a teaching and technical assistantship at UNO. She has continued to teach art to students of all ages and skill levels while continuing to build her steel sculptures.