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Exhibition explores themes of Afro-Latin identity and motherhood

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Established Gallery is pleased to present Autonomy Redefined, the debut solo show by emerging artist The Queen’s Artillery. The show runs from Friday, March 10th – Sunday, April 2nd with an opening reception on Friday, March 10th from 7-9pm.


Sandy Clafford (she/her) is a New York-based multidisciplinary visual artist of Afro-Latin descent known for her powerful and thought-provoking creations under the moniker, The Queen's Artillery. With a wide range of artistic practices including illustration, photography, and mixed medium assemblage, she explores the complexities and intersectionality of being an Afro-Latin/Black woman through her work. Her art is a form of resistance, pushing against the boundaries and limitations placed on femininity and Blackness.


“My upbringing in Brooklyn is a driving force behind my artistic inspiration. Through my work, I want to challenge and defy the narrow perspectives of modern Black culture and speak to the celebration and self-expression that are so important to the Black community,” Clafford said.


On display will be works from several series including “The Queen’s Court: Reclaiming My Time.” These works incorporate traditional oil painting with a variety of embellishments such as textiles, gold leaf, rhinestones, glitter, and diamond dust. The series takes inspiration from Classical Era portraiture while employing signifiers of Black luxury culture and ancestral heritage, bridging the gap between history and a reimagined future while creating visual metaphors of Black nobility. Titles of the works (e.g. “Portrait of a Lady – Spilling the Tea,” “La Artilleria De La Reina – Gimme My Flowers Now”) are inspired by colloquialisms from the African American vernacular and patois.


Also on display will be works from the “Motherhood” series which examines Clafford’s experiences of being a young Black mother.


“My experiences of motherhood have been shaped by the interlocking systems of patriarchy, ageism, and racism. These systems have not only impacted my access to resources and support, but they have also perpetuated harmful stereotypes and discrimination that have policed my ability to fully embrace and express my role as a mother. Through my art, I aim to explore and challenge these societal norms and to give voice to the complexities of Black motherhood,” Clafford said.


Gallery owners, Hally and Johnny Thornton, are honored to be exhibiting Clafford’s debut solo show and are excited about bringing her work to a larger platform.


“Showing The Queen’s Artillery during Women’s History Month is especially significant because her art explores the many intersections of what it means to be a woman. Her work is not only beautiful, it also invites the viewer to consider the perspectives of its subjects – fierce, regal, playful, vulnerable. She incorporates textiles and embellishments thoughtfully and executes with precision. She is a star on the rise,” said Hally.

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