Nereida Patricia (b. 1996, New York) is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in Chicago. Patricia’s practice spans sculpture, text, and performance, and explores themes of history, trans poetics, and identity. Her work draws from postcolonial and feminist theory, Peruvian symbolism, as well as autobiographical fragments, to build new mythologies around the transformation of the human body.
Patricia’s beaded relief works draw inspiration formally and conceptually from traditional arpilleras, brightly colored patchwork burlap textiles that rose to prominence in Chile during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Arpilleras were mainly constructed by female makers, under the protection of the Chilean Catholic Church. The works presented challenging political imagery, imbuing each scene with depictions of impoverished living conditions and government repression, denouncing the human rights violations of the Pinochet regime. The church funded human rights group Vicariate of Solidarity organized the secret distribution of arpilleras abroad, helping spread awareness about the brutality inflicted upon the Chilean people, as well as provide a vital source of income for those left in a state of financial insecurity due to widespread unemployment and forced disappearances of their husbands and children. Patricia’s work echoes this form of protest, intricately memorializing the violence perpetrated on racialized and queer bodies, while also celebrating moments of strength and survival.
Patricia holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago and has also studied at The New School. Her work has been exhibited at venues including Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Roots and Culture, Chicago; Prairie Gallery, Chicago; Annka Kultys Gallery, London; the Museum of the Moving Image, New York City; The Knockdown Center, New York City; and POWERPLNT, New York City, among others.