Andrea Villalón (b. 1995) is a visual artist originally from Uruapan, Michoacán, México. She received her BFA from Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Grabado y Escultura “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City and currently lives and works in London, UK. Villalón is also the founder and curator of Concha Eléctrica: an online art platform based on Instagram showcasing women artists from México and the world through weekly takeovers since 2015.
I had the pleasure of visiting her studio in London’s Whitechapel neighborhood to see what she was working on and learn more about her practice. I invite you all to read the interview I had with her, in which we discussed her interest and future projects.
Can you tell us about your background and what inspired you to become an artist?
I'm a 26 year old Mexican artist from Uruapan, Michoacán. I work with paint, stained glass and photography mostly. As for the inspiration to become an artist, I don't remember. Maybe it was the people around me telling me that I was "very creative and artsy" since I was a kid and I just went along with that, or maybe I really wanted to be one; I've also read about middle children being the more creative (or annoying) of the three in order to try to get some attention from their parents, maybe the combination of all those...
What does your work aim to say? What are the major themes you pursue in your artwork?
My work is self-referential so it's usually about whatever is going on in my life. Solitude, sadness, houses, memory, pain, time, pets, flowers, alcohol, Mexico, London, nature, light, candles, food.
What does a day in your life look like?
I live very close to my studio so I'm there everyday for most of the day and then I go back home to read or write or I'll go to a pub with my husband.
How has your Mexican heritage shaped you as an artist?
For sure in many ways but before moving to Mexico City to study a BFA I didn't grow up surrounded by art, art books, going to museums or anything at all so I started learning about art relatively recently. And considering every culture in this day and age including mine is so watered down and replaced by globalization, well, I think I don't know as much about it as I should and I don't know how much I am shaped by my Mexican heritage or than by the global capitalist "heritage", to say the least.
What are some advantages or setbacks that you have encountered as an artist living in London?
I don't know yet. I had a show this past summer in Copenhagen but nothing so far in London so all I know about being an artist living in London is going everyday back and forth from my home to my studio. I can tell you it is very expensive but that's in general, not only for artists.
Who are the artists that inspire you?
Oh I don't know, I don't want to think about this right now, long story but I'm not in the right headspace to think about that. I love Michelle Blades' music, it makes me truly happy.
Final question, would you like to share with us any exciting plans for the future?
I'd love to but nothing is for certain yet. some art fairs and a solo show in México maybe, hopefully... stay tuned hehe.
Follow Andrea Villalón on Instagram @andreavilllalon