Artist Behind the Work

Johanna Toruño

I am a Salvadoran born community taught visual artist utilizing the streets as a public platform and gallery. Raised in San Salvador until being displaced in the US at 10 I was inspired and taught by my experiences growing up in the aftermath of the civil war in my country to use poster work as a medium to self express and center a queer migrant lens. Political Art is the people's art as it has been used for many generations. This is not a new concept created by myself. Political public art is the creation of people over many many years. 

Nina Simone said "An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I'm concerned, it's their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. ... That to me is the definition of an artist."

I am inspired by the people that exist public spaces. The  working class & immigrant Black & Brown communities are the beat of the heart of the streets.

I am led by community, my ancestors, and the elders and artists before me who have paved the way for me to do the work that I do. The Black folks and specifically women who have created culture- The Queer & Trans and migrants who continually pave the way for all of us.

I am not a voice for anyone - I don't need to be. None of us are voiceless - I believe we all hold our own set of truths, privileges, and gifts - how we use them to collectively bring us closer to not only reimagining a new possibility outside of white cishetero patriarchy, but living in that new possibility. We all have something to add to that fight. 

-Johanna Toruño

The Unapologetic Street Series

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