Emilio Villalba Chronicles the "Symbols of Death, Signs of Life" at Modern Eden Gallery
On November 10th, San Francisco's Modern Eden Gallery will present their second solo exhibition by Emilio Villalba titled Symbols of Death, Signs of Life. The show will introduce an all-new body of work that the artist created in the past couple of months, exploring interior spaces, personal artifacts and the symbols of life.
After working with mostly portraiture and deconstruction of the figure, the San Francisco-based artist has begun to take a different approach to his subject matter, and is developing a significantly different visual language. Using his masterful brushwork and painterly technique, Villalba creates abstract assemblages of realistically rendered objects or symbols, scattered through imaginary void space. Often juxtaposed against bold and vibrant backgrounds, unrestricted by dimension, scale or perspective, and scattered within thick lines that frame the main image, these visuals evoke the flashes of seemingly disconnected events that construct one's memory. It's the selection of strong hues and the contrast between the thick, impasto oils against strict, Mondrian-like structure that forms a captivating composition filled with familiar and individually recognizable imagery. The Polaroid-like format on most of the pieces creates both a vintage and contemporary atmosphere around these mood board-like creations, revealing the peculiar and intimate episodes from the artist's own life. From cigarettes, beer cans, personal items, and facial features of his friends and family, to fragmented images from art history references including works by Valesquez, Picasso, Rembrandt, or Guston, these abstract assemblages are a unique and effective method for communicating the desired storyline using a selection of visual hints.––Sasha Bogojev