Bonabode Visits: Patricia Iglesias


I have known artist Patricia “Pato” Iglesias and followed her work for over a decade, and have come to view spending time with her as something of a master class in beauty. She greets her guests with tea and sweets served on patterned china. Her spaces are layered with furniture and objects she has collected over the years that trace the path from her upbringing in Buenos Aires, to Savannah, where she attended school, to Brooklyn, where she has lived for over two decades. Each piece is placed with a nonchalance that keeps the vibe relaxed and inviting, and her warmth and genuine enthusiasm encourage long, laid-back visits.

Pato has applied her finely-honed aesthetic sense to successful careers in fashion, textile design, and makeup, but her fine art career is the most powerful expression of her talents and the one for which she is best known.

I recently spent a lovely Saturday at Pato’s Williamsburg studio, where we spoke about topics light (her sister, Jimena, and nephew, Filippo's, recent visit from Mexico) and darker (the current political climate and its potential apocalyptic ramifications). The latter is the subject of her latest painting and ceramic series, Pinturas del Fin del Mundo. Here she shares a bit about her studio, routine, and inspiration.


What drew you to your studio? Any non-negotiables as you were looking?

I have been in my studio for six years. I was painting at home before, which I liked, but it became very tight with the big canvases I was using. I was very lucky to find this studio on Craigslist after looking for only two weeks. It has become very difficult to find studios in Williamsburg with windows and views of the city. Some studios don't have windows at all, which is insane to me, as I can only work with daylight to paint. The building was once a factory, and the old wood floors are beautiful. It also happens to be a ten-minute walk from my apartment.

Where did you source the furniture and display pieces?

Funnily enough, the majority of the furniture came from antique stores in Savannah, Georgia. I lived there when I attended SCAD and found many of the pieces in the incredible warehouses filled with treasures on River Street. I want to add a couch, but am trying not to–I’m afraid I’ll be too tempted to lay down and nap.

Are there routines or rituals that help ground you in your space and assist in your creative process?

I enjoy the morning walk to the studio and usually get a cup of coffee on my way. I always prepare green tea mid-morning with little treats; these days they are coconut macaroons.

I have to have very specific music playing, usually Thelonius Monk or Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou. It really calms me so I can make decisions about the paintings.

What do you do to seek fresh ideas or renewed creative energy?

I collect children's drawings and make sculptures with my nephew, Filippo. He is my biggest source of inspiration. The way children use color, and the certainty they have while making art, is very inspiring.


Discuss the path that led you to become an artist.  Are there any creative people in your family who influenced you?

My grandmother was my first influence in my artistic career. She had wanted to be an artist herself, but her father didn’t allow it. She used to dress in the most colorful clothing and the jewelry she wore was magical to me–I still own some of those pieces. She would sit with me and do collages and paintings and would dress me up in improvised costumes! She taught me how to embroider and sew, and taught me how to do my makeup. She used to say no one would ever see her without lipstick–something I have inherited from her!

How do you define success as an artist, and alternately, what does failure mean to you?

For me, success is being able to do what you love and be content with it. It is important not to lose perspective of your main reason for becoming an artist in the first place.

Failure to me is to stop being curious as an artist: to get to the point where I stop experimenting or feel too comfortable.

What was the inspiration for your latest series, including the ceramics?

My work has always been informed by literature. The most recent paintings are inspired by the stories of a friend of mine from Argentina who is a writer, and also by this very specific moment we are living in the world. They are about the end of the world and have an apocalyptic sense to them. The markings in some of them are a bit blurry, and, in others, appear as though they are in the process of being erased. With the ceramic sculpture, I played with different textures and layers of glazes to convey the same sentiment.

Patricia Iglesias, Pinturas del Fin del Mundo is on view through February 16, 2019 at Sears Peyton Gallery in New York.


Shop the Story