Emilio Villalba – NO ONE




“Face”, Oil on Wood, 24” x 18”


Booth Gallery is delighted to present painter Emilio Villalba’s solo exhibition No One. The Northern California based artist paints distorted figures inspired by personal experiences, the contemporary human condition, and art history.

No One is comprised of Villalba’s newest series of compositions containing communities of eyes. In creating this body of work, the artist has focused on a single individual at a time to create an organic un-predetermined design. This route was inspired by the colorful and rich diversity of people that make up his neighborhood in San Francisco. As a portrait painter, Villalba transforms the idea of taking many individuals to create one entity. Each painting becomes its own creature and takes on unique life. The expressions of each muse fueled the direction of the work in its developmental stage, as well as guided the titles of the pieces. Villalba’s previous works dealt with distorting figures while expressing an interest in emotion and the human condition. Past paintings took on a more recognizable human silhouette and expressed more or less a singular emotion.

“With the new works, the process of containing the noise or randomization of eyes into one singular shape helped tie the paintings back into my overall direction with art.”  

Visually, the process heavily guides the series, whereas previous works started with visual inspiration from old masters. Though, you can find mini homages to 20th century artists like Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell, as well as compositional takes from Van Gogh and Monet. These concept driven pieces resulted in a new direction for Villalba where his approach enabled him to create larger works, and break away from previous portraits that were heavily associated with traditional aesthetics.

In No One, Villalba has been able to represent street culture as well as push his boundaries further into abstraction.

“Overall, I think at impact they have a colorful and playful read, while still maintaining some of the heavier emotional notes from my previous works.”

Emilio Villalba was born in 1984 to two immigrants from Mexico. He grew up in Southern California, where he studied animation at the Art Institute of CA. He worked as a Visual Effects Artist on projects such as Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Super Bowl Commercials for Nike, Visa, Pepsi and many others before deciding to move to San Francisco to become a painter. He studied at the Academy of Art in SF, first as an abstract painter and later transitioned into more figurative classes inspired by his teachers, Mark Tennant and John Wentz. He currently works and lives in the Mission District of San Francisco with his partner, Michelle and teaches art at Sadie Valeri Atelier and Cogswell College.

The opening reception for No One will be held at Booth Gallery 325 W 38th St #1, New York, NY 10018 on March 31st, 2018 from 7pm to 10pm. This event is open to the public. Artist will be in attendance. Exhibition will be on view through April 21st, 2018. For inquiries, or to request a collector catalog of the exhibition, please email info@paulboothgallery.com.