Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Diana Solís


Chicago, IL

Instagram @pilsenita

 As a lens-based artist, I work within portraiture and documentary genres, I create work that uses photography and photographic archives to bring attention to and make much needed space for historically underrepresented narratives, identities and experiences. My work addresses the lives of women, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ and immigrant communities. It is within this scope that I have witnessed how photography can redirect, reshape, and reconnect our collective past and help us imagine new ways of seeing ourselves and our communities.

Diana Solís (she/they) is a Mexican-born photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and educator whose work practice includes painting, illustration, public murals and installation. She is inspired by Mexican and Chicano culture, memory, cautionary tales, oral and personal histories, queer identities and narratives. Her work examines notions of place, identity, and belonging. 

As a documentary photographer, Solís has created a vast and ongoing visual archive of LGBTQ+, Latinx and feminist communities and movements from Chicago to Mexico City. In 2022 parts of this work titled “Diana Solís: Intimacies in Resistance” were presented by Ariel Goldberg in their lecture and essay “Lucid knowledge: The Currency of the Photographic Image,” Triennial of Photography Hamburg (DE).; Recent exhibitions include “Images on which to build, 1970s – 1990s”, FotoFocus Biennial (Cincinnati); “Diana Solís: Encuentros Photographs of Chicago Poetry Communities, 1978 – 1994, Poetry Foundation (Chicago). Images on which to build, 1970’s – 1990’s are currently on exhibit at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (NYC). Solís latest photographic work-in-progress using portraiture and documentary genres, centers on the broadening definitions of kinship and extended family through the lives of close friends and members of her community. 

Central to Solís practice is a commitment to being a teaching artist and her desire to share and collaborate with the people around her. Solís’ social practice of education work began in the 1970’s when working with Chicago Pilsen’s iconic Casa Aztlan and Mujeres Latinas en Acción. In the years since she has taught students of diverse backgrounds and ages in community organizations, public schools, museums and special residency programs. During the COVID pandemic Solis’ photography practice found new life in the empty streets of Pilsen. Solís developed her newest photo essay, Luz: Seeing the Space Between Us. It was published as a limited edition artist book by Flatlands Press in November, 2022.

Selected Works

Portrait View: A black and white image of two older women facing forward one with her arm around the other.
Landscape view: Moni, facing looking at the camera, sitting on their bed in their bedroom, wearing glasses and a red shirt and dark pants.
Landscape view: Man in foreground with red hood covering his head and face followed by marchers in background holding flags with the Lambda imprinted on them.