Fredy Martínez Hernández Villamil – (F. VILLAMIL)
Born in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba,
1980. Fredy Villamil has become one of
the most important representatives of the
Cuban plastic arts today. Painter and
cartoonist, self-taught, his art takes us to
a unique world of emotions and
memories. His work leads to the
robustness of the design, ease of
expression and diversity of colors. At his
young age has made 22 solo exhibitions
and 61 collective in Cuba and abroad. His
work has been exhibited in Mexico, USA,
Turkey, Costa Rica, Iran, China, Japan,
Azerbaijan, gaining 24 international
awards and 23 national awards, including
the Special Prize awarded by the Union of
Writers and Artists of Cuba by all of his
work. Emigrated to America in 2010, and
motivated by the experience of living
abroad, his art takes on another
dimension, inspiring a combination of
nostalgia and reflection that immerses us
in allegorical metaphors of time and the
human condition. His work has not been a
day efforts, it has formed a generation and
synthesizes a broad process of learning
and creating a perpetual mobile, is
therefore a statement of principles:
sharing wisdom deserves and multiply
devotion and gratitude, especially if our
works survive the time, death and pain,
and fill us with the substance of light that
"Fredy Villamil transports composes
atmospheres extracted from anxiety or
despair turbulent drama. His work leads to
the robustness of the design, ease of
expression and the sobriety of colors. Just
this is enough to express the most varied
human feelings. In their forms they sense
the cries and tears of Munch, Paul Klee
and Ernest Barlach, pioneers of
expressionism, but with a real personal
touch that only takes the outward
appearance of things to distort or intensify
and show spirituality and emotional
experiences that bring us ""
CUBAN FINE ARTIST
First noticed and now represented by art dealer Aldo Castillo, Fredy Villamil's dazzling paintings synthesize figuration, abstraction, line, form, and color with an artistic mastery that belies his youthful hand. Born in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, in 1980, as a child Villamil received art lessons from his father, Francis M. Villamil, a painter and teacher of fine arts in Havana. Formal study followed at the EVA (Cuba’s Vocational School of Art) and at La Quinta de los Molinos, both in Havana. Since he was a child, Villamil was drawn to Havana’s House of Culture (Casa de Cultura), where he widened his artistic circle, meeting and engaging with emerging and established artists, many of whom, including Ruben Suarez Quidiello, Angel Boligan, Nuez Jose M. Delarr, Heriberto Mora, José Luis Posada, and Eberto Escobedo are today renowned among collectors, museums, and cultural institutions.
Artistic training aside, Villamil considers himself, at heart, self-taught, and indeed, his work is born of elements that resist instruction -- intuition, emotional connection, and memory -- the stuff of personal artistic vision. The last of these influences, memory, is a potent vestige of the diaspora experience that took the painter on an artistic and personal journey within a span of many years from Havana to Mexico to Spain, and in 2010 led him to emigrate to the United States. Along the way Villamil exhibited to acclaim in Mexico, USA, Turkey, Costa Rica, Iran, India, China, Japan, and Azerbaijan, amassing a trove of international awards and honors that recognize and acknowledge his original contributions to contemporary visual art.
Gazing into Villamil's paintings is metaphorically akin to tumbling through Lewis Carroll's literary rabbit hole and finding oneself, magically, within Alice's storied Wonderland. Beneath light-filled surfaces transformed by scarlet, aqua, emerald
green, amythyst, and topaz palettes fairly crackling with the dynamic merger of fractured lines and colliding shapes, beyond the vibrant jewel-toned hues and overlapping forms, lies a kaleidoscopic vision overrun by a proliferation of biomorphic shapes and organic forms that seem to have no beginning and no end, no up, no down, no top, no bottom.
However, peer intently into a canvas and you will slowly realize that Villamil's dazzling tours de force of vibrant color and kinetic line, while initially a confounding feast for the eye, optically resolves into a carefully constructed motif that firmly anchors the artist's dizzying array of tiny components to deepest space. For Villamil joyously embraces Europe's greatest art historical traditions of figuration, full length and truncated, frontal and profile, single and conjoined, alternately composing lovely recumbent nudes, preening women with fans, fashionable damas (Ladies) adorned with fantastical chapeaux, and mothers tending babes. The artist poignantly reveals in conversation that he draws inspiration from the women of his own family, and gently confides that each work is a soulful, perhaps even meditative, reflection on a family member held dear. Thus is each painting imbued with deeply personal content.
Finally, it must be pointed out that although Villamil left Havana a number of years ago, and now resides in Miami, the cultural roots of his native homeland profoundly affect his art. Indeed, Villamil embraces Cuban Vanguardia masters, acknowledging the influence of Cundo Bermudez, Rene Portocarrero, Amelia Palaez, and Wifredo Lam, among others. Yet individual stylistic homages do not dominate his work, which remains uniquely imaginative and deeply inventive. Nor does Villamil deny his deep respect for European Modern masters, like Picasso and Klee, from whose artistic legacies -- respectively the multiple points of view of Cubism and the mosaic-like patterns of Surrealism -- he also draws inspiration. Rather, Villamil's visual idioms are born of a rich artistic vocabulary of his own devise that infuses his work with creative vigor and stylistic authority, and elevates it to a masterful level of artistic expression.
Denise M. Gerson
Former Associate Director, Curator, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
Un breve paseo por obras y artistas que infunden otra forma de mirar. Es una aproximación cuyo deseo es provocar otras emociones más íntimas y cercanas si cabe.
FREDY VILLAMIL (1980) / MANO QUE BAÑA
El cubano VILLAMIL tiene el suficiente bagaje pictórico como para que la prosodia no le falle en su composición de un mundo del trópico altamente enfervorizado, rico en gamas que bañan el lienzo hasta ocuparlo por completo.
Aunque las huellas sean definibles, son un bosque de significantes que encubren un significado que parece ser único y volcado en el acorde del conjunto, en la visión plástica que encadena y desangra, que se visualiza en círculo unas veces, y en otras vertical u horizontalmente.
Lleva en sí mismo el impacto de lo que bulle constantemente, de lo que se impone dejando sitio y lugar a lo que se despliega en honda configuración con el fin de dar alas a la dimensión final y determinante. Plástica que conjuga sin perder lo que la revela como única y auténtica.
Sólo de lo negado canta el hombre,
sólo de lo perdido,
sólo de la añoranza,
siempre de lo mismo.
Agustín García Calvo