Julianne Marella Villegas
My work addresses how cultural identity manifests as the romanticization and trauma from displacement. Where others have a sense of pride for where they originally came from, I have always known the Philippines as a colonized country. I cannot tell where the Western facet of my identity ends and where my Filipino-ness begins. As a second generation immigrant, I cannot discern my violence from my ancestry. In an act of reclamation, I make art that situates my brown body within spaces and ideas of self love, childhood nostalgia, and traditional handicraft.
My current body of work mends and celebrates the frayed segments of my history into a cohesive cultural identity. In recent time, queer and brown folks have reclaimed handmaking, craft, and print practice to make their experiences tangible to a an audience. My object making acts as an extension of these ideas in printmaking, textile, and embroidery. The tactility of my material speaks to the tenderness my politicized brown body is capable of in the face of overwhelming oppression. My body of work is an extension of my own body, put on display with my own agency and my own hand.
As a queer Pinxy artist, Julianne Marella Villegas navigates the complexities of a hyphenated identity through icons of the Filipino-American diaspora and their own family archive. Using relief and screenprints on handmade and found fabrics, their print-textile hybrids recontextualize generational trauma and create spaces for healing through shared experiences. Residing in Oakland, CA, Villegas recently debuted their thesis exhibition “Walang Hiya” and received their BFA in Printmaking from California College of the Arts.