My artwork is very personal. It addresses substantive life situations "universal concerns" some of which hit close to home. I internalize global concerns and when I see injustices, I cannot sit back but feel compelled to take action through my art. Each situation dictates the medium/ materials with which I work. Often I use the human body, or parts of the body, to convey an idea. I have consistently explored the use of multiplicity of forms and sensual minimalism with a variety of materials including tinted rubber, wax, plaster, and resins. Provocative elements, dark humor, and machinery to create movement are seen in my sculpture along with my core use of visual puns and irony.

For many decades, as an artist, activist, and community organizer, I have tackled "ugly truths". There are times when life offers an unwanted reality that cannot be ignored. Discovering beauty in ugly truths is a challenge. Beyond the physical beauty of my artwork lies the important substance of personally and intimately reaching out to various diverse communities including women who have been raped and assaulted; men & women who have been thrown into war zones without the proper protection; military veterans who have been damaged physically, mentally & emotionally...some scarred for life; LGBTQ military veterans with their need to be recognized; men, women, and children, suffering from cancer, and last but not least...mothers who have lost precious children to brain tumors. Listening very carefully to each of these individuals, I have given "voice" to them through my art and community outreach programs and along with allowing their voice to be heard, have brought comfort, empowerment, and healing.

Working with the Santa Fe Rape Crisis & Trauma Treatment Center for over 10 years, I have been an advocate against violence & aggression and have promoted pride and strength for women. During my time with the SFRCTTC, I was given the title of "Vagina Warrior", which I continue to embrace. Globally working with Eve Ensler and her V-day initiative, One Billion Rising, I continue to be fired up to rise against injustice with "revolutionary love and resistance".

That said, my art runs parallel with my life. From my work with female body image in the 1990's, as part of what Marsha Tucker, Founder of the New Museum, called "the Bad Girls" community, to my use of intimate body-cast imprints initiated in 2001, including vulvas being shown subversively in "femme fleur" bronze flowers, inspired by the brave women who had endured abuse & now showed pride in their uniqueness, and going back in time to the 1990?s to my being motivated to address breast cancer & gathering "trashed" molds from Memorial Sloan Kettering that inspired the thin skins of glass (to connect up with the fragility of the body) in my "CRT- 0981" sculpture installation and community outreach program. Fast forwarding to 2015, as a breast cancer survivor myself, "Shirley Klinghoffer: CRT Revisited" Exhibition & Community Outreach Program" was shown, from this new perspective, at the Museum of Glass (MOG) and brought comfort to multiple communities, as did the "Healing Objects" work created in my "Visiting Artist Residency".

January 2007, having been outraged by what I read in the NY Times about our troops not being properly protected on the roads in Iraq & Afghanistan, I started conceptualizing my Love Armor Project, a nationwide collaborative project, to show concern and compassion. Realized in 2008 through the participation of over 70 artists/knitters from across the country, it premiered in Santa Fe, NM and traveled. We brought people from all walks of life together with a "unified humanist voice". The Love Armor work continues today (2018) to shine a spotlight on underserved military veteran communities, which includes the LGBTQ veterans.

In the El Palacio Magazine (Fall 2018), in collaboration with the NM Museum Foundation, Peter Shoemaker captured the essence of the Love Armor in his article titled "More Than Words" subtitled "A Yarn-Bombing Love Brigade Celebrates Caring About Veterans...Tangibly".

In 2011, Judy Chicago honored me with a mini-retrospective "Shirley Klinghoffer: Secret Garden/Fertile Ground" at her Through the Flower Foundation gallery. Laura Addison, Contemporary Curator at the NM Museum of Art, chose the artwork and wrote in her introduction "Shirley Klinghoffer uses sculpture as a vehicle not only to celebrate diversity but to censure inequities. Hers is an approach that insists that art open the gate of the secret garden and reveal the beauty and beast within. For as we know from Eden, even the most well-kept garden has its serpents."

Although my artwork changes constantly, the tug of "vulnerability" and "strength" weave in and out creating a unifying link.

In the past decade, I have emerged from a more isolated studio practice to realize my true passion for community involvement in an effort to effect social change.