Augustina Droze

Augustina Droze

Augustina Droze examines the binary of beauty and repulsion, sacrifice and gift. Her artwork explores the interaction of humans with the natural world through colorful and rhythmic imagery. In her swirling, dream-like paintings, geographic regions are conceptually mapped using the invasive species which have critically altered and endangered the terrain. On the surface her paintings are colorful and decorative. Her optically powerful paintings depict arrangements of flowers, fish, birds, moths, and insects magnified and organized into symmetrical compositions that elaborately explore androcentrism, specifically western culture’s pattern of emphasizing masculine points of view. Upon closer inspection, Droze tells a more complicated story.

In Droze's watercolor collection, Brocade, creatures are composed in intricate arrangements. Each design mimics highly decorative brocade wallpaper patterns. Composed of a mix of vermin, including notably a tangle of rats, the paintings in Brocade were created pre and post-partum as Droze experienced the need to shift materials to a non-toxic option. The stiffness of the design speaks to the rigidity of working with watercolors as an unforgiving medium.

Born in Detroit Michigan, Droze received a BBA from the University of Cincinnati in 2003 and a MFA from the University of Buffalo in 2015. She works as a public artist and muralist, art instructor, and studio artist. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally in numerous shows, notably the Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, New York (2014), Banaras Hindu University as Fulbright Senior Scholar, Varanasi, India (2017) and the Beijing US Embassy, China (2022) and the Huzhou Art Museum, China (2023).

Droze has traveled to Colombia to work in collaboration with the Centro Cultural Colombo Americano (CCCA), the U.S. Embassy Bogota, and the community members in Cali, Palmira, and Buga to create artwork showcasing how ecofeminist renewal can lead to social inclusion across class, ethnic, and cultural divides. As a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar in India, Droze created murals to empower underprivileged girls. In tribute to the courage and strength of the young girls, Droze created a series of paintings which shroud them in ceremonial puja flowers. The electric colors of her paintings and inverted mandala shaped installation of approximately 160 fabric stuffed flowers capture the intensity of India. She currently lives and works in Beijing China where she is receiving her PhD and continuing her efforts to empower girls and women through the creation of art.

portfolio.jpg View images from Augustina Droze's 2023 exhibition, Brocade.