As a member of the LGBTQIA community, as an outspoken feminist, and as a Jewish woman who has experienced discrimination and antisemitism, CJ Shapiro uses her work to highlight social conditions that undermine individual liberty and agency. Her work grapples with issues including violence against women and children, sexual abuse, sexuality, race, and gender. Shapiro’s paintings viscerally expose the impact of, and adaptation to, a society that denies its own exclusion, oppression, and exploitation.
Born and raised in New York City, Caren Jo Shapiro is a visual artist, a psychotherapist, and the co-founder of Endangered Bodies. She holds a Master's in Fine Arts, a Master's in Social Work, and a Postgraduate Therapy Degree specializing in eating disorders. Recent exhibitions include “May I …” at StartaArta in New York, NY, and Art for Social Change: DISSENT at Oak Park Art League in Chicago, IL.
Institutional and individual prejudices have become normalized, idealized, and redefined as patriotism. These aggressions have grown to be widespread and extreme while lives and liberties have been eroded and destroyed.
My artwork is a reflection of these experiences as a queer, feminist activist, a cultural Jew but practicing Atheist, a visual artist, and a psychotherapist. It examines the social conditions that undermine our individual agency: violence, oppression, and exploitation. The realities of sexual and physical abuse, sexism, racism, transphobia, and xenophobia are exposed with bold, colorful brushstrokes on large-scale canvases.
My paintings leave no room for interpretation. They are a shameless call to action. The truth is hard to avoid when you are forced to confront it.