Eddie Villanueva is currently an adjunct lecturer at Brown University in Providence, RI. In 2015 Villanueva was awarded a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. He has had solo exhibitions at Edgewood College Gallery, Madison, WI; Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas; Anderson Ranch Painting Building, Snowmass, CO; and Art Loft Gallery, Madison, WI. His work was featured in group exhibitions at Denler Gallery, St. Paul, MN; INOVA Gallery, Milwaukee; Goldsmiths College, London; The Contemporary London; and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, WI. Villanueva received his MFA in 2012 and his BFA in 2005 from the University of Wisconsin


Artist Statement

I produce compositions that excavate surfaces, occupy spaces and reverberate throughout environments. I maintain a democratic approach to creative exploration, giving myself the agency to mix and remix materials, themes and content into graphically structured groupings with dissonant surfaces. My aesthetic investigation is driven by critical engagement with mixed materiality, illusion and spectacle. Intuitively responsive to formal variables and attracted to emphatic composition and design, I look for visual experiences that oscillate between incongruousness and harmony.

This piece brings together several individual elements that all in some way talk about legacy. The initiation point is a photograph of bathroom graffiti I took in 2013 while at the Anderson Ranch Artist Residency program outside of Aspen, CO. I am interested in the anarchistic message of the writing in juxtaposition to the nature of its location—an affluent mountain resort town. The wooden pieces come from a video arcade cabinet that I found on Craigslist. It was being discarded by a man who once had the ambition to restore the case to its original state. But after years of inaction, he could not stand to keep living with this thing that had become a symbol of his own laziness. The mirror tiles mimic carnival prizes that I knew when I was a kid. The original prizes featured poorly printed images of hair metal bands, cartoon characters and other pop culture icons. This is a trophy that reflects a legacy of cheap, gaudy and effortless success. In conversation with one another, these elements begin to develop an abstract narrative about the struggle between the fear of being forgotten and one’s own apathy thwarting their attempts at validation.
— Villanueva