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Life and Memory Interwoven: Exploring Selva Aparicio’s Upcoming Exhibition at DePaul Art Museum”

Delving into Memory and Material: The Essence of Selva Aparicio’s Art

Selva Aparicio, a Chicago-based artist, engages deeply with the themes of memory and preservation in her artwork, transforming discarded objects into profound statements. Her upcoming solo exhibition at DePaul Art Museum, titled “In Memory Of,” promises to be a comprehensive display of her work, exploring the nuances of sentimentality and the physicality of memories. Aparicio’s art is not just about the objects she reclaims but the stories and lives intricately connected to them, offering viewers a space to reflect on the transience and permanence of memory.

Selva Aparicio in her studio/Photo: Frank Geiser

The Artistic Process: From Collection to Creation

In her studio, surrounded by an array of materials collected from various phases of life and nature, Aparicio crafts pieces that speak to both personal and universal experiences. Her methods are meticulous, whether she’s sewing together cicada wings or embedding dandelion seeds into sculptures. These materials are not merely artistic tools but bridges to the past, carrying with them echoes of the lives they once touched. The studio itself is a testament to this process, with items like a taxidermied family cat named Momo adding a deeply personal layer to her exploration of life’s fragility and the finality of death.

“Ears for Momo”/Photo: Frank Geiser

A soccer ball in Selva Aparicio’s studio resting on top of an artwork titled “Si buscas milagros, mira”/Photo: Frank Geiser

Reflecting on Life’s Fragility through Art

Aparicio’s work at the Yale Anatomy Lab underpins much of her artistic philosophy. Here, she not only learned the technical aspects of anatomy but also embraced the emotional and ethical dimensions of working with donated bodies. This experience enriched her artistic expression, allowing her to weave complex narratives of life, death, and redemption into her sculptures and installations. Her upcoming works, including a significant public installation in Belgium made from cast bronze, aim to encapsulate these themes, inviting viewers to ponder the interconnectedness of life’s ephemeral and enduring aspects.

A picture of Selva Aparicio and Dr. William Stewart in Yale University’s Gross Anatomy Lab in 2016 /Original Photo: Danna Singer

Drawing mock-up of “childhood memories” taped to the wall in Selva Aparicio’s studio. The red figure drawn on the mock-up is a copy from one of Aparicio’s childhood drawings.

Detail of “Childhood Memories” from Selva Aparicio’s MFA thesis exhibition in 2017/Photo: Selva Aparicio

Additional Insights:

Selva Aparicio’s art challenges and expands our understanding of memory and the material world. Her upcoming exhibition at DePaul Art Museum is more than a display of artistic achievement; it is an invitation to explore the depth of human experience through the lens of preservation and remembrance. Aparicio’s ability to transform everyday objects into profound artistic expressions highlights her unique position in contemporary art, making her exhibition a must-see for those interested in how art can capture and reinterpret the essence of life and memory.