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Rodolfo Villaplana

MA Fine Art. Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Born in Valencia (Venezuela) on January 5, 1975

Moment by moment, instinct by instinct, we build our secrets, those mysteries we cannot run away from: the shapes of our mask. I try to behave the same way as an actor does, and this means struggling with a character he needs to “incarnate”. I suspend the self to allow others to speak through me, and the canvas is the point where these two impossibilities meet.

People, life, real objects and lighting are the substance I want to investigate. I aim to decontextualize objects; rather than erase their significance, I intend to rediscover their meaning and find a new interpretation of reality within their shapes.

Mine is a poetic research, I am uninterested in a body of knowledge that allows me to justify my practice, since I believe that art doesn’t need a justification, however, it is crucial to my work as a painter and researcher how creativity and creating may help us to understand how important it is for an artist to follow his or her own direction. My painting is my mythology, in the sense that I come to understand, how much I absorb from the world around me and from the people I meet when I paint. The subject I choose defines the direction my research takes; until now this has started from a line, which was at times straight and others twisted. As with a chain, I start from one link (in my case a line) and each link leads to the next.

My interest in painting is utterly driven by passion and my challenges come from the difficulty of finding my next subject inside of me.  Reading can prompt to think of space in a specific way, while my experiences might suggest another; I wait until this two ways of thinking, or organizing space come together. This is what I think of as an incarnation, or pre-incarnation, which precedes the final movement of my “inspiration” or my recognition of the subject. This happens once my apparently distracted gaze falls on a chair, a face, or any other object or subject and embraces it. It is in that précised moment that I find my next painting.

Through the observation of the real and of the dreams reality can produce, I can borrow and transformed my personality into many subjects that interest me. As an actor does, I try to feel characters and things, and let them run through me as this is the only way I know to enquire into and try to understand another’s experience.

Figurative art has resisted every war, every attack, every change of fashion or taste and every temptation. It has repeatedly recreated the world, and its complexity extends far beyond the mere composition of colours and rhythm.

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, before Narcissus finds his image reflected in the water, there is an underestimated episode that is the key in opening new ways of conceiving the construction of an image: Narcissus listens to his own voice repeated by Echo (the naiad who is in love with him) and instantly falls in love with the sound of that voice which is, of course, but the echo of his own. Thus before he becomes infatuated with his reflection, he loves his voice; he loves the projection of a sound that he recognizes but does not understand. Without this element, Narcissus may have never confused his reflection in the water with that of another, losing his mind and his life: His own reflection was then prepared to receive the image Narcissus had already begun to imagine.


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Commission work

Rodolfo Villaplana Exhibitions

  • January 2014 – London Art Fair – Cynthia Corbett gallery, Business Design Center, London
  • October 2013 – Young Masters Prize 2013 – Sphinx Fine Art. London
  • October 2013 – Raw – 44-48 Wharf road, London
  • September 2013 – Chelsea College of art degree show – Pimlico, London
  • July 2013 – Transient Inhabitants – The invisible Line, Dalston, London
  • June 2013 – Raw International – Hoxton Gallery, London
  • January 2012 – Group Exhibition – Medici Gallery, 5 Cork Street, W1S 3LQ,  London
  • February 2011 – Deyabú – Galería Espacios Libres del Municipio El Hatillo. Caracas
  • July 2010 – Venezuelan contemporary Art – Gift Gallery, London
  • September 2008 – Personal exhibition – Villa Cicolina, Montepulciano, Siena, Italy
  • September 2007 – Goup exhibition – La Générale, rue du Général Lassale, Paris 19ème
  • September 2006 – Personal exhibition – En el otro lado, Galerie Altercultura, c/ Joachim Costa 24, nave 3,  Barcelona
  • September 2006 – Group exhibition – Sleep-no-sleep. Chiesa del Santo Volto di Gesù, Via della Magliana (XV Comune), Rome
  • June 2006 – Group exhibition – Open studios, Art studios, Atelierhaus Mengerzeile. 1-3, mengerzeile st. Berlin
  • Octobre 2004 – Group exhibition – Unplugged, Prenzlauer promenade, Berlin
  • June 2004 – Group exhibition – Open Studios, Art studios, Atelierhaus Mengerzeile. 1-3, mengerzeile st. Berlin
  • June 2004 – Personal exhibition, Erdbeer Space, Mitte, Berlin
  • February 2003 – Personal exhibition –  Beata Ludovica Albertoni (series), San Francesco d’Assisi a Ripa Grande, Trastevere, Roma
  • January 2003 – Group exhibition – Y.I.A. (Young International Artists) Social center Rialto Sant’Ambrogio al Ghetto, Roma
  • June 2002 – Group exhibition  – Ci faremo sentire, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, E.U.R., Roma