We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Murillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from a small village called Teupasenti, El Paraiso in the southern region of Honduras. Only living there for 2 years, my memories are nonexistent. The only reminders I do have I wear as scars on my skin and as stories in my mind. However, being tied to this small Latin American country has made all the difference in my American life. As a child, my single mother struggled to adequately provide for my 2 brothers and me. Nonetheless, she always made sure to shelter us and feed us. My childhood as a poor immigrant allowed me to have profound gratitude for my current livelihood. What may have seemed like an impossible obstacle has become tangible realities. It impacted all areas of my life and I am immensely appreciative of the struggle for the humbleness it’s produced within me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Although I am nowhere near where I’d like to be in my career as an artist, I’m proud of the work I’ve produced thus far. As cringe as it may sound, I’ve got art school to thank for where I am. Had I not taken that route, I wouldn’t be as excited about art as I am today. It has never been easy, especially as a creative. This is not a path you pursue if you are chasing wealth and comfortability. But as a firm believer that everything will be okay, I can’t help but remind myself that if it’s my passion it WILL work out. My sculptures, illustrations, and textiles have been the most cherished works of art. Through them, I construct vulnerable, whimsical, and sometimes crude worlds. Through both a melancholic and playful lens, I create art to give expression to the small things in life, like the young man on the cusp of adulthood building sandcastles in pure ecstasy or the group of friends having a picnic which reminds me so much of The Bathers by Paul Cézanne. It’s an impulsive reaction to my personal experiences and surroundings. It’s a glimpse into a random page of my journal. These worlds are eclectic, fanciful, and full of curiosity. Digesting society’s fixed nature to then spit back out as cutesy and eccentric artwork. They contemplate death, heartbreak, sex, fluffy clouds, kittens, spirituality, and more. Giving a name to what it’s like to be alive while making space to not be taken too seriously.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since most of my young adulthood was spent in Athens, Georgia I’d take them to good ole’ Athens. The morning would begin with Cadillac bagels in the best bagel place in town AKA Ideal Bagel. We’d spend the day roaming the streets of downtown, Normaltown, and a sunny walk through the Greenway. The evening would be spent drinking cocktails in Manhattan and World Famous. After one too many drinks, I’d suggest going to the dirtiest dive bar in town, Max (RIP), for a little debauchery. When it comes to food and atmosphere Athens does not disappoint.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I give great thanks to the person that pushed me to be the best artist I could be, my best friend and fellow contemporary, Gunnar Tarsa. Along with him, Rob Bell has been an amazing public figure and inspiration in understanding myself as a human and artist.