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In an effort to bring together garden and gallery, Del Vaz Projects is delighted to present Patricia Iglesias Peco’s On the Tip of the Tongue, the inaugural project in a series of artist-painted murals in the garden’s greenhouse. The opening will take place on Sunday, October 24th, from 12PM-6PM, concurrently with the launch of the Del Vaz Projects Apothecary.


Iglesias Peco’s recent paintings and drawings are inspired by Pascal Quignard’s 1993 essay Le nom sur le bout de langue (The name on the tip of the tongue), in which the author reflects on the difficulty that language has in expressing what one feels. As such, Iglesias Peco employs a cast of flora and animals as visual lexicon to capture the innate, intimate and instinctual margins of human existence, those that so often escape the devices of the tongue. 


In her series of flower paintings called Natureleza Viva (meant to contrast with naturaleza muerta, the Spanish term for still-life painting), Iglesias Peco evokes Dutch pronkstilleven, the 17th century genre of ostentatious paintings containing ornate and sumptuous bouquets of flowers. But instead of being interpreted as a form of vanitas painting that conveys a moral lesson, Iglesias Peco’s bouquets allude to the relationship between the sexual and the vegetal – her flowers are aggressive, provocative and in a state of arousal. 


For the artist, flowers are very much alive and have secret intentions. In her essay Bad Flowers, for example, Jamieson Webster explains that flowers, like humans, release smells as a biproduct in the breakdown process of sexual metabolism, signaling sexual excitation and key stages of reproduction. “Internally, a process is set off, and externally, a smell is secreted; or, a smell is taken in externally, and internally a process of excitation is aroused.” Similar to Lacan in his description of the pure pain of plants and flowers in his lecture Mystical Jouissance, Iglesias Peco’s flowers ask us to imagine “the ecstasy of having your organs on the outside…”


In her most recent series of drawings titled Animals in Quarantine, Peco Iglesias was inspired by images of animals and nature reclaiming their place during the recent pandemic – monkeys invading the streets of India; boars roaming the streets of Israel and sea lions returning to the Port in Buenos Aires. In her wild parade of animals, Peco Iglesias captures the archaic candor of the human imagination, bringing to mind Rousseau’s Merry Jesters (1906) which depicts two monkeys in the middle of the jungle playing with a backscratcher and a spilt bottle of milk. 


Iglesias Peco’s animal scenes are suspended between dream and reality – a mouse teases a bear with a telephone; a flamingo on a leash wonders through a green; a lion presents a heart-shaped balloon to their beloved cobra. Whether enigmatic metaphors for the disconcerting yet comical rencontre between humans and animals, or simply fabulous inventions, Iglesias Peco’s Animals in Quarantine presents us with the impossibly possible – what can happen when the human, or language, is not present?


For her mural in the Del Vaz Projects Greenhouse, Iglesias Peco has created a 4-panel painting using oil paint, oil pastel, and watercolor on mylar, bringing together both flora and animals. Approaching painting as sculpture, the artist essentially carves with the brush, extracting and adding medium throughout the process, unconcerned by the wetness of the various mediums on the semi-gloss film. The unconventional combination of mediums and surface provides the artist with myriad possibilities – one medium slips into another, an animal bleeds into a flower, and reality turns into fantasy. 


Patricia Iglesias Peco was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After apprenticeships with Pablo Edelstein and Philip Pavia, in Argentina and Italy respectively, Iglesias moved to the United States to study first at the Savannah College of Art and Design and subsequently at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  Iglesias has participated in several group and solo shows, both in the United States and Argentina including Barbara Gladstone, Sears-Peyton and Soloway Gallery. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

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