Quianna McLaughlin is working towards earning their BFA from Cornish College of the Arts and is set to graduate in the spring of 2023. They have exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, as well as completed residencies at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Parsons School of Design. Their work consists of multi-media explorations in sculpture, installation, and digital art. Quianna currently works in Seattle, but their heart still lives in Houston, Texas.

Artist Statement

I strive to create something confrontational – a piece that looks back at you, winks, and makes you painfully aware of your own gaze. My digital collage, painting, soft sculpture, video, and assemblage drip with lurid color and layered ideas regarding gender, sexuality, cultural commodification, and consumerism. I employ self-mutilation as a visual language within my work not to speak about self-harm, but bodily autonomy. When a woman is “opened up”, she is reduced to her most vulnerable state – this of course references both disembowelment and sex. Injury and violence can become a tool for reclamation – if the woman derives pleasure from this mutilation, she can become empowered and use her physical self (guts and all) to express some inner desire or feeling too complex or taboo for words. At the same time, she challenges the viewer by subverting their notions of the body and woman’s relationship to sexuality. Instead of advertising sexuality in a traditional way, it is taken to its furthest extreme – a woman treating her own flesh as unsacred.

The content of my work stems from a sense of a fascination with the perverse and grotesque, as well as an interest in re-contextualizing expressions of queer sexuality and gender through pop cultural references and niche subcultures. I source inspiration from the Erotic Grotesque art movement, as well as online spaces and otaku culture. The form stems from whatever medium I feel will engage a sense of morbid curiosity, whether that be creating a body pillow out of painted canvas that hangs in the air, beckoning people to approach and hug it, or utilizing the jump-scare-like effect of a successfully shocking page turn.

My work is always both a celebration and a critique – I embrace the uncomfortable ambiguity inherent in the question mark at the end of “Is this… funny?”


2018-2020 School of Visual Arts
2021-2023 Cornish College of the Arts



2023  2023 Cornish BFA Exhibition, Cornish College of the Arts 9th Avenue Gallery, Seattle, WA

2022  DIY Show, Cornish College of the Arts 9th Avenue Gallery, Seattle, WA

2022  Transitional Visions, Specialist Gallery, Seattle, WA

2018  Warning: This Is Not A Toy, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, TX

2017  Teen Council Group Show , Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX

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