We had the good fortune of connecting with Paloma Jimenez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Paloma, what are you inspired by?
My current work is inspired by the small and overlooked moments of day to day life. Chewing gum in various colors stuck to the sidewalk, the vague outline of something in a pocket, the scattered remnants of a dinner party, a lost shoe, or even a broken lawn ornament. On a grander scheme, I think these little moments provide a material map of human behavior. I go on walks around the city and come back with a dozen new ideas for sculptures.

Sometimes a line in a poem or short story will also be the catalyst for a new piece. Gertrude Stein, Lydia Davis, Durga Chew-Bose, and Virginia Woolf are some of my favorite authors, offering endless inspiration.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work ruminates on the poetry, humor, and degradation of the physical world that surrounds us. Peripheral subjects can reveal tender truths if we spend some time paying attention. Bringing that which is on the periphery into focus is an invitation to reconfigure preexisting hierarchies of value. The material world is both comically visceral and elusively abstract; new things are produced every moment, but they are composed of atoms as old as time.

I am just now entering a point where I actually like the work I make. When I first started creating work for critiques or exhibitions, I was preoccupied with being taken seriously. Once I released that motivation, I found that my work became a more honest representation of how I see and experience the world. Rather than adhering to a certain style or school of thought, I allowed all my disparate influences to meld together. Releasing oneself from the confines of a category or label will do wonders for the flow of creativity.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in Denver, left for 9 years, and then moved back here in 2019. I’ve stumbled upon some great places on my bike rides, but I also have my old haunts from childhood. -Roostercat Coffee House in Cap Hill has a nice selection of beverages and food with lots of cozy seating. You can read in a corner and no one will bother you.
-David B. Smith Gallery downtown consistently shows well thought-out exhibitions.
-Treasure Trunk Community Thrift Shop across from Lakeside Amusement Park will have something you didn’t know you needed. You can also take photos of the slowly deteriorating rides across the street.
-Himchuli in the Highlands offers up some delicious Indian food.
-The Mayan Theater is always showing something worth seeing. Good popcorn, odd neon bathroom signs, and lots of elaborate woodwork to look at before your movie starts.
-Fort Greene Bar in Globeville is a great place to sit on a couch amongst the plants and gossip over a drink.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Judy Linn, a gentle soul and incredible photographer, was my professor at Vassar College. She really encouraged my interest in banal subject matter and always noticed the little details in my work. As a young artist, it was uplifting to encounter a kindred spirit.

My professors at Parsons also pushed my work forward. I owe so much of my current practice to my weekly chats with Sowon Kwon, Siobhan Liddell, and Tom Butter. They taught me that philosophical musings and humor are allowed to exist in the same realm.

I also love my clay family of members at Urban Mud here in Denver.

Website: www.palomajimenez.com

Instagram: @palomajimenez.art

Image Credits
First image: Lisa McCleary All other images: Paloma Jimenez

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