In my work I ask, How do we liberate femme bodies? Seeing femme bodies being restricted, in pop culture, by dichotomies of virgin versus whore, ingenue versus femme fatale, and maiden versus mother has inspired me to unshackle them. I weaponize my scissors and exacto knives by deconstructing images found in popular women’s beauty and health magazines. I reclaim femme bodies by reconstructing them in ways that I view as empowering. The femmes represented in my collages exist in a world free from the surveilling eyes of men. For those who dare to look on, they look back. By sharing my art, the world is gifted with new ways of imagining the femme form.
Kelly D. Villalba is an interdisciplinary artist from Newark, New Jersey. She has exhibited at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Mueller Gallery in Caldwell, NJ, The JCAST in Jersey City, NJ, and at the Newark Arts Festival in Newark, NJ. Kappa Pi’s Art Honor Society featured Kelly’s artworks in their Spring 2018 Sketchbook publication, and she received a grant from Kappa Pi for her new media collages. Kelly graduated with her B.F.A. in Studio Art from Caldwell University in May 2017.