Mario Villa is a young artist from Medellin, Colombia, Plastic Arts graduate from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His professional profile is oriented in three main trades: drawing, small format sculpture/jewelry, and graphic techniques, from which he explores the concepts of the sublime, the mystical and the spiritual. Plants appear recurrently as a main theme in his artwork, a central topos, and portrait as a persistent obsession. This tendency in his work is mainly due to his experience during the years of his university education, where he worked with the master Federico Londono as a monitor/assistant at the Graphic Arts Lab, as well as helper and assistant at Santiago Betancur’s photography studio in Medellin, and apprentice of the master jeweler Lucas Restrepo. After finishing his university studies, he has been consolidating as an independent artist in his own arts and crafts studio from which he’s been in charge of jobs that reach from illustrations for musicians, to commissioned portraits and author jewellery.
About the series of some spiritual masters of Modern Art and Klimt, golden triptych.
The transcendent and the spirit of the classical are the problems posed in this series of drawings of the great masters of modernity. In the time of digital photography, is it still pertinent to portrait using graphite and paper? Since machines have been in charge of solving the problem of representation, fine arts and crafts are now free to translate the spirit, not only what’s recognizable.
This masters of art where portraited in what could be called a classic style of photography (B&W, composition and format). Once the soul has been frozen, the shape, passed then by the artist’s filter: mind, heart and hand, Mario Villa manages to print his spirit and breath of life in an incarnation of paper and graphite/metal and ink. Once the materials of his merely physical dimension are transcended, they are not only surface and stain, they have become the window from which this masters come out once more in our encounter… Once again they have overcome death, first by photography, now by the actualization produced by a conscious and active meditation (drawing) about them by the young artist. A “captured” psyche, like in the colossi of Greece.