Selva Aparicio is an interdisciplinary artist working across installation, sculpture, and performance to create artwork that digs deeper into ideas of memory, death, intimacy and mourning. Born and raised in the woods just outside of Barcelona, Spain, she found solace in nature from a young age and cultivated a profound interest in life and death as inspired by the natural world around her. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015 and her MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 2017. Working with nature’s ephemera, including cicada wings, lettuce leaves, oyster shells and human cadavers, her praxis is an extended death ritual which foregrounds a particular reverence for the deceased and discarded. Aparicio’s keen perception of the meanings imbued in these materials and the rituals informing their sentimentality lends a unique perspective to her practice and allows her to present their reimagined forms not as entombments but rather as moments that capture both the donor’s and the artist’s labor to hold space and time for viewers to reckon with life, death, and human objecthood.
Aparicio’s work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago; Yale Center for British Art; Can Mario Museum, Spain; CRUSH Curatorial, New York; Roots & Culture, Chicago; The Kyoto International Craft Center, Japan; Instituto Cervantes, New York; and the Centre de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona. She was awarded the JUNCTURE Fellowship in Art and International Human Rights in 2016, the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize in 2017, and received a MAKER Grant from the Chicago Artist Coalition in 2020. She was also named one of the 2020 breakout artists in Chicago by NewCity Art and is a current artist in residence at BOLT.