About the Artist
Georgina Arroyo is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Georgina’s work focuses on mapping, neighborhood change, and personal connection. She was born and raised in Queens, NY and received a BFA at Lesley University College of Art & Design in Cambridge, MA. She now works out of her studio in Bushwick.
My current paintings explore loss and grief, as it relates to gentrification and displacement. Beginning with extensive research on gentrification and city planning in 2018, it has since evolved to encapsulate the emotional effects of these social issues. The work is specific to personally experiencing gentrification, and coming to terms with this loss that comes with the passage of time in New York City. I’m creating a visual catalog of personal items–pillows, MTA tokens, children’s toys, funeral prayer cards, objects that could be left behind in someone’s home if they were forced out. In late 2019 I began creating clay artifacts along with reading about feelings associated with displacement due to gentrification, imagining what the rubble of my life would look like. Most recently, many were confronted with housing insecurity and loss due to the pandemic and the fires on the West Coast. Seeing images of survivors visiting the ashes of their homes and families being evicted after owing months of rent was visual proof that housing insecurity and displacement happens everyday. It forced me to focus on deeply personal stories in relation to neighborhood change, shedding light on larger issues pertaining to the housing crisis. In my paintings I create layers to each piece, collaging imagery to to mirror our memories and minds–mixing what we want to hold onto with new realities. Each recognizable symbol to the viewer- a pillow, a silhouette, a front door, connects my personal experiences with gentrification and the housing crisis to the feelings of loss that all humans feel, in order to humanize this issue. I am interested in capturing personal stories and collective mourning of communities to inspire action. I am preserving the objects of my history to make viewers aware of what objects could be remnants of their very neighbors’ existence.