Emily Tironi



mixed media collage on canvas panel (image, book pages, acrylic mono prints, colored pencil, gel pen, foam tape)

These pieces use images from the book “Types of Mental Defectives,” by Martin W. Barr in 1920. The photographs are of people with developmental, emotional and intellectual disabilities. The goal is to breath new life into these photographs of people beyond the stigmatization and discrimination they faced and that people with disabilities still face today. Each piece uses foam tape to slightly raise the figures from the canvas. The name of each piece is the person’s initials as their full names were not included in the book.

My works are a celebration of the disabled experience and the disabled body. I often use surrealism, bright colors, and humor in my work to challenge societal norms and stereotypes regarding disability. I believe bringing this perspective to the general public and society is important and use my experience as a disabled person and education in Disability Studies to enhance and inform my work. I use a variety of materials, such as gel prints, tissue paper, books and magazine images, to create contrast while still uniting the work through color and layering. The process of using different mediums and putting separate parts together to create a new whole strengthens the messages of the work.

"H.P." Original Collage