A Little Birdie Told Me

A Little Birdie Told Me

By Michael Villarreal
Monday, April 16, 2018 to Friday, June 1, 2018

In my work, I use materials known for the construction of houses such as insulation foam, wood, and paint. Specifically integrated together, I create sculptures to resemble the components that make up a house in order to reference memory, time, place, and self.

Creating objects found in and around a household, my sculptures develop notions related to class. This idea is informed by the context of the objects I create and their relationship to the others, or by their familiarity. Window blinds were always present whether it was in my childhood home or in an apartment. Commonly, the blinds were mangled— the slats cross each other in unnatural ways, the lift cord was tangled or malfunctioning, or the tilt wand was missing.

I take the idea of mangled window blinds to create works in reference to painting. I start with a frame, canvas, or wood panel as a armature. Through the history of art the canvas became a window to create an illusion of space. However, my blinds cover the canvas, but reversely gain emphasis by entering our space. The physicality of the work takes on characteristics of brushstrokes through the movement of the slats. Thinking of the blinds as malleable or ever-changing shape lends itself to have gesture or even anthropomorphic qualities. The blinds become a distorted version of reality.

-Michael Villarreal

Michael Villarreal received his BFA in 2013 from Texas State University- San Marcos, and his MFA in 2017 from University of Nebraska- Lincoln. He has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Art Palace Contemporary Art Gallery, Houston, TX, and Project Project, Omaha, NE. His numerous group exhibitions include “Going My Way” at Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX, “Nebraska Rising” at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE, and “Excessivist Initiative” at LA Artcore: Brewery Annex Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Villarreal’s work has been featured in several online and in print publications such as Huffington Post for a group exhibition in Los Angeles and in Issue No. 126 of New American Paintings which was release in October, 2016. Future exhibitions will include a group exhibition at Dateline Gallery, Denver, CO, and a solo exhibition at Doane University, Crete, NE. Villarreal was a resident at KHN in 2017, as the recipient of the 2017 Lincoln Mayor’s Arts Awards – Kimmel Award. Villarreal currently lives and works in Lincoln, NE. 

The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts is located at 801 Third Corso in Nebraska City and is regularly open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and for special events. Both the exhibit and the reception are free, handicapped accessible, and open to the public of all ages. KHN is a program of the Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation, Inc