September 10 - October 17, 2015
SUSAN INGLETT GALLERY
522 West 24th Street
New York, NY
With Mind, Body & Soul, William Villalongo invites the viewer to return to his magical Otherworld of Nymphs and Sirens, offering us edgy, multifaceted vignettes framed and softened by floral and velvet flocked borders. The artist layers his canvas with figures and narratives that allow for multiple paths of entry. By engaging with the classic but historically problematic motif of the nymph or bather, he raises the question of who can represent idealized female beauty while reframing the absurdities and conventions of the male gaze. Villalongo’s many Muses perform acts from the banal to the extraordinary, at times undergoing anatomical transformations in bursts of color and light. A male audience watches, lurking among the velvety borders of the picture plane. The artist, in polarizing the concept of the visible and the invisible in his representations of female and male form, has constructed a visual metaphor that balances revelation and obscurity. This, along with the dismemberment and regeneration of the figure and reconfiguration of the narrative, has been essential to Villalongo’s revisionist retelling of the Art Historical canon as filtered through non-Western cultural influences.
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