Marco Villard Villard’s solo show at Alkinois, Athens, comprises ten paintings created over the last few months in New York (where he lives) and Athens (where the curators invited him to do a two weeks residency), constituting his last series : Story about a whispering Prince (2022- 2023).
Heavily inspired by Figurativism and the formal conventions of Abstract Expressionism, Villard’s work is firmly rooted in symbolism and evokes a meaningful sense of play. Paintings often portray nonsensical figures and animals, accompanied by a rich contrasting color palette, a defining feature of Villard’s work and stylistic choice that is uniquely informed by his color blindness.
His earlier series (Angels, 2021 and Apollo’s Birds, 2021-2022) expanded on the themes of escapism, and other-worldliness, together with the artist’s profoundly personal confrontation with familial loss. The works spanned out across vast swaths of unstretched canvas, inviting a feeling of limitlessness. The harsh and illogical contrast of colors within the paintings aids in removing any sense of realism from the works thrusting the audience into his world of angelic abstraction and heavy symbolism.
In his latest series, Villard explores a story written in childhood. In a departure from the earlier works, the world created in Story About a Whispering Prince relies heavily on a sense of framing. By removing the spectator from the composition, the artist places them soundly outside of it, as onlookers in a world of mythical isolation. Creating windows into worlds of childhood beliefs with a renewed awareness of construction, Villard’s oeuvre gives way to a compromise between free-flowing constitutions and art historical structures. With this series, Villard is effectively reconstituting his own way of storytelling, while maintaining his outstanding ability to transmit an understanding of the human condition.
Villard’s work exists outside the bounds of our contemporary technological society, utilizing mythical forms, overstated compositions, and humanist themes to create new dimensions. Villard’s works are uniquely approachable and encompassing, allowing viewers of all training to gain from the intimately conveyed motifs of shared human experiences, such as childhood, loneliness, birth, and death.
Marco Villard, Stories About a Whispering Prince, Curated by Alix Janta and Romain Bitton, March 16th to April 20th, Alkinois, Alkinois 6, Athens 118 52
About the artist
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Born in New York City, raised in France, Marco Villard is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Alongside painting, Marco’s practice spans several mediums such as filmmaking, performance and poetry. instagram : @marco.villard