I was always a creative kid, as an adult I wanted to be a creative writer, I fell in love with fiction and poetry and was an escape for me, but when I went to college and took my required art course and it re-ignited my visual creativeness. Since then I have fought for my place as a queer Latinx artist.
Jose Villalobos (he/him) is known for artistically protesting culturally-accepted traits of toxic masculinity through performance, installation, sculpture, drawings and fashion. Villalobos grew up on the U.S./Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, and was raised in a traditional conservative family. His oeuvre reconciles the identity challenges in his life, caught in between traditional Mexican customs and American mores, as well as growing up with religious ideals that conflict with being gay. In his work, he confronts the derogatory terms and attitudes with which Villalobos continues to withstand today.
“The root of Villalobos work lies in the performativity of his identity,” says Marissa Del Toro, curatorial fellow at the Phoenix Art Museum. “His accoutrements are proud connections to his heritage but also reminders of the hate and homophobia that he has had to endure.”
Villalobos recently earned a Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptures grant and residency and is also a recipient of the Tanne Foundation Award. His work was featured in the nationally recognized exhibition Trans America/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today at the McNay Art Museum, and was included in 11 other group exhibitions as well as four solo exhibitions across the country in 2019.
Villalobos has exhibited and performed at Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas; El Paso Museum of Art, TX; El Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, New Castle, Maine; The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas; and Strut Gallery, San Francisco, California, among others.
Accompanying Villalobos’ Albright College exhibit is a catalogue of essays by Marissa Del Toro; Mark Castro, Ph.D., curator of Latin American art at the Dallas Museum of Art; and Emmanuel Ortega, Ph.D., founder of Latinos Who Lunch.