Artist of the week: Michel Villa

Are you wondering what can become your photos published on social networks? The young artist Michel Villa appropriates them and intervenes them to the painting. With social networks, our relationship with the body and the intimate has changed. The rise of social networks appeared as a fracture, a rupture in our social evolution. Every day, millions of images appear on social networks. We live in a hypersexualized society where we constantly face the representations of the body.

Michel Villa captures images of women, most common, and integrates the symbols of Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The attitudes of the girls attract attention. They are erotic or subjective. They invite us to their room in underwear to “excite”. Who will have more “like”? With this work, Michel Villa also denounces the behavior of a public, often masculine, aggressive, absurd and unhealthy for his sexist comments. We are in the era of lightness. Everything is good to have the approval of your peers. The individual is defined by his actions. He is sublime or detested by the projected image in the virtual universe.

This young artist alters their environments as their bodies, turning them into animals or protagonists of famous paintings, because between reality and fiction, the border has disappeared. Guy Debord denounced the excesses of our societies in the 50’s. He promoted a return to sensibility, the real life of every day. Today, a “hybridization” of human beings is manifested by these new practices that build or deconstruct reality. Michel explores the new codes of this complex world. Such tattoos, Michel paints bodies with emoticons, the new international language of our society.

Social networks transcend borders, and as the philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky described in “The Age of Void,” we are in a postmodern, hyper-individualistic society in which the individual is absorbed. His objects, his daily attitudes, personalize him in order to distinguish him from others. He is fascinated by digital images as Michel Villa illustrates it with one of his installation. In fact, at the center of a deforming mirror, a video passes GIFs, these non-stop humorous animations. When the spectator approaches the mirror to look at these images, his face deforms, becoming more and more an illusion of himself. Monopolized by these new forms of communication, the individual lives physical and psychological changes. He becomes a zombie where digital devices become an extension of himself. The individual becomes a slave of his own virtual reality.

For the young artist Michel Villa, it is difficult not to marvel at all these “ghosts”. Throughout his reflection, he represents the portrait of the new relational codes between humans and the virtual as in his last installation, a holographic installation. The illusion of a tongue, the symbol of communication, is in a phallic structure, like a totem. However, what you see is not and will not be and what you want, does not exist. Everything is illusion. Michel Villa speaks of the incessant lie of this virtual world and the perpetual expectation of the individual in this hallucination because “It is a dead end, a fishing net around him, a traitorous dress” (Agamenón- Aeschylus)

Text by Séverine Grosjean / / Instagram: @nomad_creative_projects / @Facebook


Instagram: @michelvillaav

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