Emilio Villalba is a classically trained painter, completing an MFA in Painting at the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco. He describes his portraits as “Contemporary representations inspired by master works of the past.” There is a refined discordance in his portraits, yet every feature appears meticulously placed on the canvas. Emilio states via the Modern Eden website, “Subtle shifts, repetition, (re)placement, or absence of facial features are attempts to create a feeling of dissonance and pressure in the viewer. I want someone to be drawn in by the uncanny nature of a piece and still feel safe to explore the feelings and reactions the pressure gives rise to. “
As someone who struggles with major depression and anxiety, his portraits are moving. To me, they represent how someone like myself sees the world. Often stigmatized, there is a way that people with mental illness view the world, which differs from traditional perceptions. Whether or not that was Villalba’s intent, I’m uncertain, but if his intent was for the viewer to explore their emotions, mission accomplished!
Villalba is currently exhibiting ‘I Don’t See’ at Modern Eden Gallery. He currently has eight, signed, limited edition prints available from the show, ranging in price from $30-$65.
Prints can be purchased from Modern Eden Gallery here: