Featured Artist Victor-John Villanueva

Artist Victor-John Villanueva’s iconic adult-themed images are created using fusible beads originally designed for children’s crafts. See more of this artist’s work by visiting his website.

 

"Erotica" Fusible Beads, 5" x 5" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Erotica” Fusible Beads, 5″ x 5″

 

My art is a synthesis of my interests, fascinations, and obsessions. Among these are art, music, pop culture, fashion, sex, toys, and the digital realm. To communicate my preoccupation with these cultural phenomena, I’ve chosen to use fusible beads as my primary medium.

 

"Fire Island Bather" (Work in Progress) Fusible Beads, 8" x 16" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Fire Island Bather” (Work in Progress) Fusible Beads, 8″ x 16″

 

A children’s craft toy, fusible beads (also known as Perler Beads or Hama Beads) are usually used to create cute, child-like designs and scenes—think animals, anthropomorphized food, sports iconography, etc. Instead of those subjects, however, I choose to employ the medium to depict adult themes and ideas.

 

"Iris Apfel" Fusible Beads, 15" x 25"by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Iris Apfel” Fusible Beads, 15″ x 25″

 

By using fusible beads, I create work that straddles the lines between craft and art, feminine and masculine, naive and sophisticated.

 

"Playing with Myself" Fusible Beads, 8.5" x 14" x 3.5" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Playing with Myself” Fusible Beads, 8.5″ x 14″ x 3.5″

 

These dualities are critical to me as a Queer artist since I constantly attempt to imbibe my work with a fluidity that resists preconceived notions of what an artwork is supposed to be.

 

"Discreet" (Series) Fusible Beads, Each 5" x 5"by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Discreet” (Series) Fusible Beads, Each 5″ x 5″

 

My series “Discreet” plays upon this dissonance as it is based on user profile pictures from the gay online hook-up app “Growlr.”

 

"No PNP (420 + Poppers OK" Fusible Beads, 6" x 12" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“No PNP (420 + Poppers OK)” Fusible Beads, 6″ x 12″

 

“No PNP (420 + Poppers OK)” clearly pits the medium against the subject matter in a way that is at once sardonic and humorous.

 

"Make America Gay Again" Fusible Beads, Resin, Rhinestones, Chain,, Glasses, Wig and Custom-made Suit, Necklace, 9" x 9"by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Make America Gay Again” Fusible Beads, Resin, Rhinestones, Chain, Glasses, Wig and Custom-made Suit, Necklace, 9″ x 9″

 

Having grown up in New York City in the 80’s, I have been inspired by the Pop Art movement and especially by it’s founder, Andy Warhol. His concept of the “superstar” has affected my thinking and my artistic production, and as such I created an alter ego for myself—Victor Pump.

 

"Selfie" Fusible Beads, Resin, Rhinestones, Chain, Glasses, Wig and Cape, Necklace, 12" x 13" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Selfie” Fusible Beads, Resin, Rhinestones, Chain, Glasses, Wig and Cape, Necklace, 12″ x 13″

 

Playing with the notions of fame and icons, I have created portraits of Victor Pump and worn them in costumes which match the art perfectly. These images are my paean to that era of New York/Art History when the cult of personality reigned supreme.

 

"Grace Jones" Fusible Beads, 8" x 12" by artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Grace Jones” Fusible Beads, 8″ x 12″

 

My interest in pop culture has also led me to create images of celebrities such as Grace Jones, Iris Apfel and Karl Lagerfeld, amongst many others. These portraits have become wall pieces, but more often they are wearable pieces of art attached to chains.

 

"Wear Your Chair" (Series) Fusible Beads, Variable Sizesby artist Victor-John Villaneuva. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Wear Your Chair” (Series) Fusible Beads, Variable Sizes

 

Most recently, I was commissioned by The School of Visual Arts to create wearable portrait necklaces for each of the undergraduate chairs for a campaign entitled “Wear Your Chair.” As I move forward in my art practice, I plan to focus more directly on myself and my sexuality, something I have already started doing, as you can see from some images here. My intention is to continue to explore what it means to be Queer in 2017 and create images that provoke, inspire and are ultimately coveted.

 

Artist Victor-John Villanueva invites you to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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