• Carla Vreeland

Marcel Toledo brings beauty from the scars of gender-based and domestic violence

In society today, scars - especially those from domestic or gender-based violence - are sometimes mistakenly viewed as something shameful that should be hidden away.

Argentinian artist, Marcel Toledo’s collection, Detrás de las Paredes (which roughly translates to ‘Behind Closed Doors’), consists of 14 sculptures of the scars from domestic abuse and gender-based violence survivors.

Toledo’s sculptures not only inspired conversations of this violence that is often not talked about, but also encouraged survivors not to hide their scars. Formed out of brass, copper, and other metals, Toledo’s goal with the sculptures was to tell stories of survivors.

“My mission as an artist is to channel their suffering into art,” said Toledo.

One of the women, Karina Abregú, had suffered burns to 50% of her body after her ex-husband poured petrol on her and set her alight. She only survived by submerging herself in a nearby pool and spent the next six months in hospital, undergoing 30 surgeries. Afterward, Abregú fought for two years in order to send her ex-husband to jail for 11 years, in 2016.

Toledo was inspired after seeing the Argentinian feminist movement, Ni Una Menos, which advocated against gender-based violence.

His artwork creates beauty out of some of the most painful events of the 14 survivors’ lives and memorializes their great strength and ability to grow and overcome adversity.




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