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Quiana Parks, (b.1986)
Coming out as a queer woman was no easy feat. Parks referenced Michelangelo's Pietà, a marble sculpture of Jesus dying in Mary's arms to illustrate her acceptance of self. This LGBTQIA championing painting represents her former complex with her orientation dying in present-day arms openly.
The tense emotion on her face acknowledges the mourning associated with this growth. Withal, the double-entendre inscribed below her figures was intended to echo the religious quote, "He died so I can live." Parks considers this painting her rebirth through art.
"I am stronger now. I embraced my sexual identity publicly for the first time, at 32. So, resilience is me owning scars along the way. It doesn't matter how many times you knock me down; I am always going to get back up." - Quiana Parks