Shirley Villavicencio Pizango on artistry and everyday life


Shirley Villavicencio Pizango is a Ghent-based artist born in Lima.
Last year we visited her exposition at Gallery Geukens & de Vil.

Using acrylic paint and adding vivid colours, her paintings feel spontaneous and expressive. Being inspired by the cross-over between her South-American roots and life in Belgium, she creates powerful and in sync pieces with the current zeitgeist. We like the way her portraits are able to make direct eye contact with their viewers.

A couple of years ago, Shirley visited our pop-up store in Antwerp, where she was her enthusiastic exuberant self. This month we were lucky to meet Shirley at her Studio in Ghent, giving us a look into her creative flow and life. 


What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received (and would like to give your younger self)? 
Don’t let your self-esteem be defined by others. Learn to love yourself. 

Where do you go to escape? 
To my studio, I escape everyday from reality and go to my own world in my studio.


What are you looking forward to in the next few years? 
To my upcoming solo shows in Belgium, Peru & LA. And to my ‘artist in residence’-program in Spain. 

What is a dream project or collaboration for you? 
A dream collab is with 019 for the billboard series in Ghent. A fantastic idea to make artist’s works as public as possible. 

An exhibition of my ceramics/sculptures, it’s a side project but I can’t wait to be able to finish it. And also doing a performance. 

What kind of bag person are you? 
It depends, sometimes I’m in the mood for sending letters, then I carry more than the normal, which is also a lot anyhow.  So when I am in that mood I carry a pencil case, envelopes and my personalized stamps.

In general, I always take my agenda with me. Sunglasses, a toothbrush, and make up as well. I love lipsticks from Laura Mercier because they are mat. Two small perfumes. Cream with UV protection. My wallet and keys. Sometimes I also put my analog camera in, but most of the time I carry it around my neck.


What’s your favourite Lies Mertens bag? 
I have two favorites, the Eline and the Lien. Between them two... I think the Lien.

What does your current playlist sound like?
Latin, and with a sparkle of classic music.