Libby Paloma

Artist Statement

My large-scale, highly decorated, hand-built installations use soft sculpture to create joyful encounters, gentle restoration, and benevolent utopias. Inspired by everyday objects and my natural surroundings, my installations are an invitation to enjoy a fluffy, puffy, blissful world. My recent installation, Fertile Ground and New Growth: Dreaming in the Plant Realm, drew inspiration from medicinal and resilient plants from the Northeast, where I spent over a year recovering from Long-Covid aided by these plants.

My installations have interactive components that invite the art-goer to interact through a performative element. I have asked participants to become a part of the work through touch, rest, or by leaving an offering to add to the installation. For example, in Sweet Blue, the most recent of a series of soft sculpture installations inspired by Dia de los Muertos, a holiday related to my cultural heritage, partipants were invited to leave a picture or a written offering for passed loved ones. In another installation, Still Living (With), I recreated the view from my couch, where I spent significant amounts of time due to the conditions of Long-Covid. For this installation, I provided a rug for participants to sit or lie on. Additionally, I offered soft sculpture food to touch or pretend to eat. I create arresting pieces that expose the possibility of pleasure in softness, beauty, and play.

Artist Bio

Libby Paloma (b. 1980, Santa Ana, CA) is a queer, Mexican-American, interdisciplinary artist currently based in New York, NY. Paloma uses performance, installation, and sculpture to create tender environments and humorous encounters. Paloma’s large-scale, colorful, highly decorated installations use soft sculpture and interactive components to create gentle restoration and benevolent utopias. Inspired by everyday objects and natural surroundings, Paloma’s installations and performances utilize scale, embellishment, and play to investigate themes of interconnectedness. 

Paloma is currently studying Fine Arts in the graduate program at Parsons receiving the President’s Scholarship & University Scholarship at The New School, NY. Paloma’s work has been exhibited at El Museo Del Barrio in New York, NY, Burlington City Arts (BCA), Burlington, VT, SOMArts in San Francisco, The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA), SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME, Geary Contemporary, Millerton, NY, and the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY where she received the 2019 Hudson Valley Artist Purchase Award. Paloma has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY, and SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME. In 2022. See new works on view University of Southern Maine Art Gallery, Gorham, ME in October 2023.