Rebecca Potts Aguirre (she/her, b. 1982, Montana) is an artist based in Los Angeles whose practice centers around documenting daily life. Her work explores themes of feminism and gendered labor, memory and visibility, trauma and healing. With a background in printmaking, Potts Aguirre works across media as materiality is central to her concepts.
She is a member of Spilt Milk Gallery and is listed in the curated directories All She Makes and Visionary Art Collective. She was represented by Stay Home Gallery for 2021. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Australia at spaces including The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Zhou B. Art Center, New York Studio Gallery, Art Share L.A., and SoLA Contemporary.
In 2010, her essay on art and climate change, “Creating a Fourth Culture,” was published in 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century. Rebecca’s MFA Thesis in 2009 also addressed the role of art and artists in addressing climate change. She earned her MFA in Visual Arts from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and her BA in Studio Art & Geography from Middlebury College.
Potts Aguirre founded and hosts Teaching Artist Podcast, coordinates the Teaching Artists’ Lounge, in collaboration with Victoria J. Fry, and runs Play + Inspire Gallery in partnership with Maria Coit. Rebecca is also a K-12 Curriculum Designer for The Art of Education University. She lives in Hawthorne, CA with her daughter and husband.
She welcomes studio visits, commissions, and collaborations. For inquiries regarding work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
My work is both document of and metaphor for motherhood and childhood in all its messiness, agony, and ecstasy. I sculpt and piece together polymer clay and play dough, building “paintings” with slight relief. My materials draw connections to craft and gendered labor, while my imagery reflects flickering memories of childhood and the early fog of motherhood. Photographing daily life serves as inspiration and reference. Through my art practice, I seek connection and ask: how do connections persist?
Part of the answer is through water. The water that was once in a glacier, a tree, the sea, the clouds, and you, now courses through me. Water has memory. We see the waterlines on our drought-stricken lakes and the course of a river in our engineered wetlands. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water. What does the body remember? Does my daughter’s body remember floating in the water in my womb? We’re forever connected through fetal microchimerism. Our cells continue to morph and intertwine in our bodies.
Water is a recurring theme for me, encompassing the conflicting emotions of this time. It is a place of calm and chaos, peace and danger, growth and drowning. It sustains us and floods our homes. It helps our gardens bloom and overtakes our roads. Water is a precious resource. My work takes on the blues of this blue gold, the rainbows refracted in its ripples, and the muted neons of pink stucco and the yellow-gray smoggy sky.
My process is multi-faceted with a focus on materiality, repetition, and the idea of the multiple, whether methodically puzzling together tiny bits of clay, carving linoleum blocks, or calculating sun exposure for cyanotype. Materials are embedded with meaning – they enter the work already holding history. By elevating materials of childhood into a referent for the work of mothers, I’m making visible the often unseen act of mothering and ignored inner worlds of children.