Each series of work produced from 2001-2006, 2008-2009 and 2013 chronologically interweaves the artist's internalization of “trauma” and becomes a visual diary with the positioning of the “body” as a site of gradual reconciliation. In Huellas sin dejar Huellas / Fingerprint Without Trace, delicate fingerprints in wet charcoal form abstract landscapes that resemble biomorphic forms. The mark-making suggests a presence which is irrevocably transformed with a “disfiguring” gesture, leaving no trace of the original.
In the Reconstruction Series, Hernandez transfers the terrain of investigation from the human to the manufactured with Barbie dolls becoming both the subject and object of dissection. Questioning how ideals of beauty are constructed and contested and how fear and stigma are localized are some of the underlying themes of this series.
In 2006, Hernandez produced a documentary Territories of the Breast, that offers a firsthand and up front look at the healthcare injustices that minority women face in the US. The documentary delves into an area that is severely overlooked in the wider discussion about access to healthcare as women of color are more likely to experience barriers to access as well as discriminatory practices in the ways they are offered medical services. After encountering several instances where her own medical rights were violated during her cancer treatment, Sonia began the process of documenting her treatment and interviewed other cancer survivors who similarly faced many obstacles in navigating the healthcare system.
Sonia Baez Hernandez’s art practice exists at the intersection of several disciplines. Her work explores social justice and human rights issues movements through a framework of critical theory. As an artist, filmmaker, poet, writer, educator and scholar, she has tackled subjects as wide ranging as police brutality, immigration detention, border separation, healthcare injustice, breast cancer, racism, and climate change. She is a published poet, writer and scholar and received an MFA in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MA in Sociology from UCLA, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico.