Victoria Villasana—one of seven international artists who re-envisioned Oscar for this year's campaign—studied design in her native Mexico and worked in London’s fashion industry before blending these two loves in her textured, textile-and-graphic images.
Using bright strands of yarn, Victoria embroiders dynamic life into still images, an endeavor that began as a hobby. She’d post her colorful, often socially and politically provocative works on the streets of London, where she became known as an artist and activist.
She’s drawn to vintage photos of icons, which she transforms with vivid stitchery. In one image, the “Man in Black,” Johnny Cash, dons a cacophonously colorful jacket of green, purple, red and blue. In another, Victoria gives Nina Simone splashy orange eyeshadow, dangling fringe earrings and a bold pink-and-blue geometric blouse.
She uses pattern and color to “weave stories that connect us to express the resiliency and creativity of the human spirit.”
She finds a similar connection through film. “Movies are an excellent vehicle to take you into another world and give you an opportunity to put yourself into other people’s shoes,” she says. “Movies create a bridge of communication and make us understand deeper truths about our connection to each other as humans.”
Here are Villasana's top picks for the movies that most inspired her.
I love the combination of suspense, psychopath insanity and horror in this movie. The dramatic scenes and weird combination of characters make you feel like you are in a nightmare.
This movie opens our eyes to show us the many things wrong in society. The raw violence makes it feel so real and so disturbing. I love cinema that not only entertains, but also makes you question.
This movie is full of powerful metaphors and symbolism to reflect about our human condition, centering on a brilliant question: What is reality? If reality is simply people feeling things and having emotions, then a machine can simulate that by stimulating the neurons in our brain.
This is just simple childhood nostalgia. I love the sense of adventure and friendship in this film.
I love how this movie immerses your mind into multiple levels of consciousness and actions we take based on that. I also love the hints of chaos theory throughout the film.
Beautifully crafted with awesome acting, photography and visuals, overall it gives us the message that love transcends all barriers and that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.