Eddie Villanueva


About the Artist

Born in 1983 Milwaukee WI

For nearly a decade I have produced alluring abstract compositions that excavate surfaces, occupy spaces, and reverberate throughout environments. I maintain a democratic approach to creative exploration, allowing myself to mix and remix materials, themes, and content into graphically structures and surfaces. My aesthetic investigation is born out of a critical engagement with materiality and visual language.

A Nomadic Hunter and Hopeful Romantic
Essay by Artist/Curator Sandra Erbacher

To enter a space that has been marked by Eddie Villanueva is to allow oneself to be enchanted by a strange, emotionally charged universe of signs that at once designates stories and at the same time escapes readability. It is entrancing, yet unsettling, and holds the viewer in suspension in a dreamlike state of discovery and wonder.

At the heart of Villanueva’s work is a re-writing of site-specificity as a nomadic practice. His work inhabits the space, some times confidently announcing its presence, at other times awkwardly shifting as if it is aware of its own displacement, strangeness, internal fragmentation and lack of belonging. At all times though it is marked by a curious ephemeralness, a lightness in tone, despite its often large scale.

The nomadism and dislocation in Villanueva’s work however is more than metaphorical; it is a core structuring device deeply embedded in its very materiality. After taking down and dismantling a piece, Villanueva often reuses its elements, transforming, recombining and eventually transplanting them into different spaces. These new articulations of fragments of previous work eventually build up a rich material history of layers of paint, photocopies, tape, carpet scraps and other marks and fractures where pieces have literally been broken apart to be ingested into other works and spaces.

This formal playfulness is extended into a non-hierarchical approach to image creation. Villanueva freely co-opts and recombines signs from different cultural contexts and (art)historical periods from sacred geometry to minimalist masterworks to create fluid and open-ended threads of signification that allude to universal human emotions and experiences of love and loss, dedication and struggle, mortality and remembrance, and ultimately hope. The resulting offerings are fantastical landscapes that invite us to go on journeys in search of fragments of self and belonging.