At the beginning of 2020, Argentine painter Patricia Iglesias moved from New York City to Los Angeles, where, during the pandemic lockdown, she and her husband went on frequent neighborhood walks, explored nearby hiking trails, and generally spent more time outside than she ever had before. Iglesias began paying more attention to the flora and the fauna of her adopted home, and she imagined scenarios in which nature flourished unencumbered by human presence. “And then I started seeing all this news of the animals in different parts of the world claiming back their own space,” she says. “So I was seeing monkeys in the streets of India and dolphins in Venice, and I was thinking of this sense of who is the animal, right? I felt like maybe we were the animals in quarantine.”
Iglesias’s two most recent series, Animals in Quarantine and Caminatas, are explorations of that idea. Iglesias rarely plans her compositions, preferring instead to let her insatiable need for color drive the strong, loose brushstrokes of her paintings. “I have an idea of a color—that’s how I start the paintings, but after that, there’s no planning,” she says. “The way that I work, I feel it’s very sculptural. I take paint away and then I add it in.” Her greatest reward, she says, has been hearing from viewers of her work. When she posted her initial animal paintings to Instagram in late 2020, “people were really responding, like, ‘We need this joy and this really speaks to us right now,’” she says.
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