top of page

Cultivate Featured Artist: Natalia Villanueva Linares

The Cultivate Curatorial Board is excited to share the work of Natalia Villanueva Linares.

Natalia shares her work and process in our interview below.

Learn more about the Cultivate Featured artist series below.

Learn more about Natalia on her:

Briefly describe your work or share your artist statement

I am a multidisciplinary moment maker. I builds moments with a monumental feel for volume and colors or reveals situations full of details, with an intense metaphorical spirit. I have a magnetic affection for large collections of objects brimming with history, longing to be transmitted. With an animistic relation to certain materials, I invite others to feel the magnitude of their generosity, often proceeding to the destruction of objects to produce transformations, opening them for others, allowing the destruction to become a gesture of distribution.

I speak in and believes in poetry made from excessive quantities, in simple objects radiating with power over me in everything. I have a hunger for filling spaces with abundance through different approaches. I amalgamate: mathematical discern, with writing gestures, distilling colors from time, creating symbols for transformative partitions and investigating the origins of uniqueness.

Room with walls covered in tubes of wrapping paper
“Estera”, 2017, Wrapping paper, 3000 tubes (approx), 30ft x 18ft x 9ft. Photograph by Skyler J. Edwards

How do you go about beginning a new piece? Do you have it planned or is it more spontaneous?

Most of my work is an instinctive encounter with materials, objects and treasures that find their way in my path. If there is a need to distill a sensation, an idea, and I have access to their corresponding materials, I will work on the piece. Due to the amount of time my works can take, I tend to work on 4 pieces/projects at the same time. It is also in the practice of silent repetitive actions that new projects are born, it is a very open state for me when gestures take over. There is planification when I orchestrate performances with multiple participants: 10, 20 or 40 persons for example. I have to ensure that everyone, performers, filmmakers, photographers and assistants, are able to engage in the piece together.

What is a barrier that you, as an artist, overcame?

I am from a nomadic upbringing, when moving to a completely new country, with a new language, a new culture so different from everything I knew, I was quite impressed by the challenge. As soon as I finished my studies, I moved to the US, for art and love. My arrival was a bit difficult, I changed from a very busy big city with loads of stimulation and movement to a small one in the heart of the midwest. I had the desire to participate in the cultural landscape of the city I was living in, I was able to find a place to grow with a community of creative minded people.

300 spools of multi-colored thread arranged on white shelf with thread all going to single nail in wall above it.
“Colorial”, 2014, 300 used thread spools, 2.5ft x 12in x 3.3ft. Photography by Skyler J. Edwards

Collectively we took on monumental projects: we organized Small Nomadic Artistic Experiences (art shows in alternative places, such as empty storefronts or shipping containers), we created unforgettable art installations on a giant abandoned church. I built a connectivity bridge between local art workers and artists located in other countries eager to develop projects together. I also founded an art magazine online and on paper to support local and international cultural exchanges, working with local passionate writers, editors, photographers, designers, film makers, volunteering endless hours of work. From our midwestern city we launched our magazine in Paris-France, Kinshasa-Congo and Lima-Peru.

What is your go-to music when you're working on art?

I often listen to female musicians or bands led by women. It fluctuates between Salsa, Bossa Nova, Popular Andean Music, Metal and Electronic. The music I listen to varies as much as the colors I wear daily.

Examples : Cocorosie (when I am drawing), High Places (any time), Luz Yenny de los Andes (when I am in movement) Fever Ray. Other examples : Jethro Tull, System of a Down, Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Joao Gilberto, Jorge Ben.

What do you strive for as an artist? What form of recognition is important for you?

I aspire to unveil the immensity of a feeling through materials and be enveloped by the magnificent sensation it provides me for as long as I shall live. I aspire to realize an artwork that can bring a new era for art, making room for everyone and anyone to leave a trace of their sensibility in the history of art & humanity. Two different subjects come to mind when I am thinking of recognizing the concept of origin and contribution. I live in the US and I am originally from two different countries, where the colors, shapes, stories, and many experiences have nourished my creativity. My work is connected to these three places, it is important for me to feel that my practice can contribute to the cultures I am a part of.

fabric pattern paper glued together to create fabric that is drapped up to create walls
“La Desmedida”, 2018, Hundreds of used patterns attached with 7000 straight pins, 45ft x 18ft. Image Courtesy of the Artist

What advice would you share for artists? Share something that you have learned along the way.

I would advise those wanting to work in a realm of abundance, to be mindful of toomuchness, finding a system to keep objects and wonders displayed or hidden in a way they can still feel a connection to their power.

What is a work of art that is an inspiration to you?

The piece “Gang tête” by Annette Messager was on the cover of the first art magazine I purchased when I began my art studies in Paris. Annette had won the Venice Biennial award the Lion d’or, the highest recognition in Europe at the time. I kept the cover of the magazine, because her work is exceptional and she is a woman. Five years later, the day I moved out of my studio from school I walked on a piece of paper I immediately picked to dispose of it. My curiosity made me turn the page and discover it was the cover of another magazine, with the same art work (!). These two important omens reinforced the work that I am doing and its trajectory. I see this art work as an augury.

collage of scrap pieces of paper glued together randomly with various scribbles, paint splashes, and sketches on them
“Well That’s Another Thing We Need to Get Done,” 2022, Watercolor and mixed media, 15” x 10”. Image Courtesy of the Artist

Who are three working artists that you love and would recommend?

Watercolor painting of kitchen with table in the foreground holding various, random items, including an empty cup and a white orchid plant. The background has a window and a fridge, covered in various papers, magnets and other objects.
“2D 1/2 “, 2010,16 shelves, plastic bags containing my bedroom: Mattress, Lamp, Frame, Notebook, chair, table, purple Sheets, Colorful sheet cover, Pillow (green inside), Small red carpet, Lamp, Mirror, 9ft x 10ft x 4in. Image Courtesy of the Artist


Cultivate Artists

A curated collection of emerging and mid-career artists. The featured artist program at Cultivate serves to share the artist's work and process with the community, inviting them to understand how and why an artist creates the work they do, to market and promote artists, and to connect artists to each other and to our network of curators, artists, and gallery owners.

These artists are curated together and represent the work that we exhibit at Cultivate. The artists are selected in January and June, and scheduled out for the six-month period. If you are interested in being one of Cultivate featured artists, please visit our open call for submissions.

133 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page