These group of young ladies are fighting ISIS on the front line. In their own words:
‘We aren’t afraid to die, we know we’re fighting for a bigger cause. The truth is that ISIS don’t have the bravery and fighting spirit that they show in their propaganda videos…For these types even hell isn’t enough of a punishment. Our Job is to make sure they get a one-way ticket there’.
Original Work. Victoria Villasana 2017
For this Saatchi Altered States show, I’m using portraits of people in the UK and Mexico. Subjects are seen with their eyes closed, holding themselves in the intimate space between outer and inner identity – their presence contrasting with the implied austerity of passport photography.
The yarn interventions convey a hidden strength derived from openness and exposure, yet a sense of shared vulnerability can be experienced depending on the projected state of mind of the viewer.
- When did you start your creations?/How long have you been doing this for? -3 years.
- Why did you decide to work with yarn? -Out of curiosity, I was experimenting with different materials, I’ve experimented with yarn in a more abstract way until I found a “style” that I felt comfortable exploring.
- What is the inspiration behind your work? – Visionaries, positive messages, colours, patterns, individuality, community, surrealism, change, movements, multiculturalism.
- Is there an overall theme? -Cultural & human integration/connection.
- How long does it typically take for you to finish one piece?- Each piece is different. It depends of the piece, design, my mood, my emotions etc.. Art doesn’t exist in my life like an 8-5pm type of job. I hyper focus in and out constantly throughout the day. I’m a mum, so art happens in between my daily life with my son.
- How do you collaborate with other artists? Most collaborations have come through social media, it’s great to connect with other artist around the world and share and overlap different talents.
- Do you feel like your cultural background has influenced your art? -Of course.
- If your culture has influenced you, can you please expand on that? -My culture and other cultures have influenced my art, as well as indigenous art, fashion, music, people, patterns, books, ideas etc..
- How do you feel about being a Latinx artist? I feel a lot of inspiration and passion comes from my Latin background, however what I do comes from my personal story.
- There seems to be a running pop cultural and political vibe to a lot of your pieces — can you expand on why that is? – I’ve always admire true visionaries through out of history, people who realise their inner power to change things and people who always questioned our human conditions. Today, I feel we are lacking from good leaders, my art is an invitation to remember these “visionaries’” musicians, writers, activists etc. I would like to keep the message of these visionaries in our minds and hearts, we need to believe in our own power to change things, I believe we need to empathize with other communities/cultures, this is the only way we can help one another to move forward. It’s not about YOU and THEM it’s about US. No one is winning when one community is losing.
- For your collaboration with Armenian-Israeli street artist @tagstreetart you wrote “because art has no borders” — is this how you feel all about the work that you do? Is this why you let your yarn “bleed out”? -That could be a cool interpretation of why I let the art “bleed out” but it’s more about change, leaving things hanging, kind of “unfinished” gives room for change. The only certain thing in life is change and I like to translate that in my work, especially with my street art pieces, I love how the natural environment can change the piece by moving the yarn in different directions.
- How have people reacted to your work? -The reaction so far has been great. I’ve never expected any reaction. I start doing this out of pure curiosity and explorations. It wasn’t meticulously planned.
- What are some of your favourite pieces and why? -The street art pieces I’ve made about refugees and indigenous Mexicans. We cannot forget about the pain and marginalisation that a lot of communities are experiencing today.
- What do you want people to feel when they look at your art? People can feel whatever they like: love, hate, connection, curiosity, disgust…. As long as they feel something I’m happy. I will never try to dictate a feeling to my art.