About the Artist
Born in 1983
Eddie Villanueva is an artist living and working in Milwaukee WI. His art practice is diverse in form and content, but is often noted as being graphic, spatial, and dynamic. Villanueva works in a variety of mediums: primarily painting, print, and installation. Formally his work focuses on exploring contrasts between illusionary space and flatness, while also working to expand the image content into its surrounding space. Currently, he is an exhibiting artist with the Circuit 12 Contemporary gallery in Dallas TX.
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.