“And when we remove the will of the artist regarding his creation, each painting becomes a work of art of the world and for the world; a piece of art in which all people can find themselves to reflect, and above all, a work of art with a life of its own that wants to be seen, awaken felt.” -August Vilella
JPS Gallery is delighted to present Autumn Dreams, a solo exhibition of August Vilella, on view at the gallery’s Hong Kong location in LANDMARK ATRIUM. This exhibition marks the artist’s first solo show in Hong Kong, showcasing a series of new paintings that feature his signature big eyed characters, guiding the audience to dive deep into their subconscious through their reflective gazes.
Working under the Surrealist automatism method, like his innovative predecessors, Vilella creates his paintings without any previous sketches or ideas. Instead, each work is painted from his subconscious mind as he accesses his material. From this process, he created his big eyed characters, who are spirits that came to his mind, introducing their dream-like world to the audience. In the artist’s own words, “I don’t choose my characters… in some way they choose me.”
Vilella’s style and technique poses an interesting juxtaposition with his creating method. He employs fine brushstrokes and applies multiple thin layers of oil paint and varnish onto his canvases. He also plays with light and shadows, producing a heightened dramatic effect, vitality and exuberance in his paintings. Completed with his original gold frames, his works recall the ones of the old masters, displaying a flamboyant and vivid picture for the audience.
The contrast of his creative method and oeuvre can be seen throughout the presented series. In The Carp (2021), Vilella depicted a scene of a big eyes character riding a gigantic carp reaching over a Sakura tree. Set in a very high-contrast and dramatic atmosphere, the image is poetic and emotionally charged, inviting the audience to ponder and reflect on the seemingly direct subject.
Haunting in their extraordinary and distinctive imagery, the presented works exemplify Vilella’s ability to evince uncanny and stylized forms through precise explorations of color and shadow, transporting the audience to an ultra-reality within themselves.
About August Vilella
August Vilella is a self-taught painter who creates oil paintings that open dialogue with contemporary and classical art. Working in the Surrealist automatism method, he creates without any previous sketches or ideas. Each painting has a unique psychical opening and meaning that reflect the subconscious mind.
Using classical oil techniques, his works evoke a dream-like aura in a magical, metaphorical and philosophical language. The use of light and shadows and refined brushstrokes in his works recall works of the old masters, presenting an interesting juxtaposition with his cartoonish characters.
Vilella’s characters often feature stylized big eyes, through their insightful gaze, the audience is invited to engage with their deep emotions, exploring the feelings with quiet introspections.
Born in Barcelona in 1986, Vilella was the winner of numerous artist prizes including, Best Artist at the Tokyo International Art Fair in 2016; Best Innovative Art at The Global Art Awards of Dubai (UAE) in 2017; International Artist Grand Prize and Chairman ́s Award in the Art Revolution Taipei in 2018. His works are also featured in various media outlets, including Vice, Hi-Fructose and Beautiful Bizarre.
21 October – 20 November 2021
Location: JPS Gallery
Shops 218-219, 2/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong