We produced the following written interview with Andrea Villalón for the June edition of Brigade’s monthly newsletter, to co-incide with the opening of "The Shelter of Meaning", the artist's debut solo exhibition with Brigade:
Could you please tell us a little bit about where the title of the show comes from? As I'm always trying to find some meaning and understand who I am so I often think about what shelters that information. The show itself shelters the pieces that talk about the meaning I've found these past months so it also really is the shelter of meaning. it's a bit of some good ol' metacognition. There are a couple of motifs that recur throughout your work - could you tell us about your interest in spiderwebs and candles? Spiderwebs as a symbol of memory and all that we archive consciously and unconsciously; candles as a symbol of enlightenment and for all the polarities: night and day, good and bad, asleep and awake... How do you view the relationship between your paintings and your glass works? How do you decide when you want to work in each medium? I work with them simultaneously because I'm equally interested in both of the mediums but they're different in the sense that the glass pieces are a very straightforward strong message while the paintings are just as strong but more of a long long letter. How do you think your move to London has affected the works you produced for the show? I don't know exactly yet but that's what those paintings are all about, a sublimation of what happened psychologically in my first months in London (and life in general...). I spent a lot of time quarantining with my husband so there's a lot of wedding rings in the show, I started feeding pigeons on my balcony so there are pigeons too, I became very aware of what it means to have a house/home so there are a lot of houses too... and I've spent a lot of time reading about psychoanalysis so most of the paintings refer to a certain term in psychoanalysis... How do you feel about the printed editions that have been produced with Brigade for the show? I love them! quality is great, price is super accessible and I'm just very happy that there's such a nice option for my paintings to travel to other parts of the world, hopefully, a lot of them will go to México <3 Concha Eléctrica has now been running for many years and has helped to establish a global community of women artists - how do you see the project developing in the future? Do you have particular aspirations for it? I want the project to prioritize latin artists but now that I'm living in London and meeting people from everywhere I'd also like to little by little start working with women around the world so we'll see... Which other artists’ work are you feeling the strongest connection to at the moment? David Inshaw, Paul Delvaux, Nicole Eisenman, Remedios Varo A work by Geles Cabrera is referenced in the background of “The Darkest Light” are there other overt references to the work of other artists in these new paintings? "One mexican pound and one electric cigarette" is a reference to Ceci n'est pas une pipe. Are there any personal narratives or biographical references in these new works that you would be happy to share? Most of the objects in the paintings are things I actually own like the coffee mug, oyster card, glasses, airpods, wedding ring, passport, house keys... I'm aware that all the things I own are temporary and one day they'll just be a memory, but since I have terrible memory I always paint them to keep them forever (you could say I'm a hoarder). So I can remember to forget. Actually, two months ago I lost the glasses I painted in two of the paintings... but not really I guess.... What is the biggest challenge you are facing at the moment in your practice? Not having enough space to paint bigger paintings!!!!