Passion For Art

>>>>>Jesús Villarreal

The twenty-eight year old artist definitively announced his presence on the art scene last year when his artwork, El Espejo (The Mirror), was awarded the prestigious William F. Draper Grand Prize in the 2011 International Portrait Competition hosted by the Portrait Society of America.  Villarreal’s direct and masterful self-portrait caused American Master Burton Silverman, one of the judges of that competition, to say of the artist:

“This young artist has dramatic painting skills and the self-portrait reveals a good deal of his emotional intensity. He is at the outset of his career and his talents have much to explore. The special qualities of light and intense figuration in the self-portrait are part of the emotional convergences in the painting. I would want to see more of his figures and the development he might have as his work progresses and expands.”

Villarreal, the son of an artist, was born March 27, 1984 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and became a United States citizen in 2006.  Choosing to follow in his father’s footsteps, Villarreal began an earnest study of painting at a young age, apprenticing to Miami artist Abdon Romero before eventually attending the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he earned his BFA.  His studies then continued at the Florence Academy of Art, where he was graduated in 2009.
 
This solo exhibition, Villarreal’s first since winning the Draper Prize, focuses on the artist’s figurative work, and offers an in-depth look at the processes he observed in creating his award-winning work, El Espejo.
 
“I try my best to paint with honesty,” Villarreal says. “I want people to look beyond Realism to be able to see what I’m painting, to see a little deeper than the superficial aspect. I try to paint the unseen things. The mystery behind things. The unspoken truth.”

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