Andrea Pérez is a printmaker and installation artist whose work focuses on syncretic amalgams of plants and humans that speak to the fiction of the gender binary. Their work aims to create a visual language around queer and non-binary bodies through focused explorations of botany, alchemy, Christian iconography and influences derived from Puerto Rican culture. They create queer bodies through mixed media sculpture and installation that incorporate block printed textiles. In these bodies, soft textile elements merge with rigid wood and plaster substrates. The resulting forms emerge as devotional figures, situating the queer body as holy. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Andrea lives and works in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Reverence, ritual and the queer body as holy are the common threads that run through these works. I forge anthropomorphic amalgams of plants and animals that honor the self-fashioning present in queer bodies and the wide spectrum of gender and sex present in the natural world. Through my practice, I refute the false binary that places queer existence against nature due to assumed and imposed cisheteronormativity.
My work takes the form of mixed-media sculpture and installation that meld plant reproductive anatomy with the human figure to create bodies worthy of devotion. These bodies I create honor the exuberance found in nature and in the queer community. The resulting sculptures place the body as a site for disidentification, these forms speak to the instability of gender itself while resisting essentialist notions of queerness. The work amounts to an iconography forged from an imaginary mythos that centers queerness and cherished elements from systems of worship left behind. The recurring creation of iconography becomes an act of reclamation and celebration of life as a queer and trans person.