Inside an Artist’s Studio - Renowned Venezuelan Painter Rodolfo Villaplana Based in Tbilisi
27 November, 2015
Inside an Artist’s Studio - Renowned Venezuelan Painter Rodolfo Villaplana Based in Tbilisi
Recently I received an invitation to an artist’s studio in Tbilisi and decided that it was high time to take someone up on it. I went to a viewing of Rodolfo Villaplana’s studio, which is located in the Silk Museum next to the stadium. Rodolfo Villaplana is a prominent up-and-coming Venezuelan painter who has set up shop in Tbilisi.

Upon walking through the rotating metal gate and onto the museum grounds, there was a feeling I was entering a Wes
Anderson movie set. The studio appeared to be a converted recital or presentation hall. Chairs, which looked like they were from no later than the Democratic Republic of Georgia period, were stored in the corner. The rest of the room’s real estate was occupied by Rodolfo’s paintings. I’m no art aficionado, but I’d like to think I can recognize quality craftsmanship when I see it. I had seen photographs of his work, but to see them in person was like geotv.geseeing them for the first time.

I know Rodolfo quite well and would consider him to be among the most optimistic of optimists. However, his works captures an outlook on humanity with a seriousness and sobriety that belies his personality. That’s not to say his works are depressing, but more of an elucidation of what the artist finds wrong with the world’s current state of affairs. Take his “Ratzinger Revisited” for example: It’s a 265x190 cm work featuring Pope Benedict gazing menacingly upon the viewer. Perhaps it’s the fact that I haven’t been to confession in quite a while, but I found it difficult to stand in front of the painting without the feeling that the Pope was going to jump out and rebuke me with the full power of his holy authority. Without knowing Rodolfo, it would be easy to analyze his paintings as politically motivated. But, if one were to place Ratzinger Revisited, or Tunnel, in juxtaposition with one of his ‘lighter’ portraits, one would find that the Rodolfo’s main motive is not to persuade, but to illuminate that which he cares for most, the true nature of the human spirit.

Rodolfo Villaplana is a Venezuelan native but calls London home, whenever he is not otherwise occupied exhibiting, lecturing and painting around the world, that is. He has been residing in Tbilisi for the last five months, preparing for his latest exhibition – Duchamp is Dead – at the MOMA Tbilisi Museum. It takes place on November 26th at 7:00 PM.


Duchamp is Dead

“Indeed, Villaplana has this uncanny knack of psychologically penetrating not only the figure portrayed, but also the observer. This also happens in the painting of a gigantic face of a baby, grave and conscious of his pain, entitled Duchamp is dead, (180x180cm) where a new beginning towards a better art is expressed through a new life.”

Photo courtesy of Gaia Serena Simionati


Surprise at Pimlico with Georgian Dancer

geotv.ge
“The scene depicts flying elks, floating candelabra, spectator dogs, pendulous cages, spectres of death, billiards’ tables, youths yelling, fathers looking abstracted and desperate, and a marvelous Georgian Dancer. All of this – fascinating and potent in its energetic disharmony – concerns the painting Surprise at Pimlico with Georgian Dancer. The work depicts the interior of an actual pub in London, now closed, which the artist used to frequent. The pub was situated close to an institution for the mentally ill, and the patients frequently visited the pub. Often yelling, they would come in the company of fathers or brothers, taking in a slice of so-called ‘normal life.’ The painting portrays madness, but also freedom, harking back to Matisse’s red room: pure, crazy creativity.
The kind Duchamp would have, were he still alive.”

Photo courtesy of Gaia Serena Simionati



Ratzinger Revisited

geotv.ge
“The purpose of these portraits is to deform the normal vision of things, transferring them to contexts and territories different from their natural ones. For example, in the malign gaze of the Pope in Ratzinger Revisited.”

Photo courtesy of Gaia Serena Simionati

Author: Robert Cooper
Print
Other Stories
Levan Gelbakhiani receives European Shooting Stars Award
The main actor in the movie "And Then We Danced", Levan Gelbakhiani received the European Shooting Stars Award 2020 on February 24 at Berlin International Film Festival
“Georgians for Georgia” - Campaign initiated by “Kart-Valley Corporation”
“Georgians for Georgia” is a Campaign initiated by “Kart-Valley Corporation”, which serves to select and gather Brand Ambassadors from all over the world.
"New museum in Georgia uses technology to bring art to life"-Euronews
Recently Euronews has published an article about the new Museum of Holograms, called Holoseum, in Tbilisi
Georgian-Born Singer Beloved Artist of Azerbaijan
PalitraNews publishes an interview with Georgian-born singer in Azerbaijan, Manana Japharidze
"Georgian Wine is a Great Discovery"- Andrew Jefford
Georgian wine producers participated in the international wine and spirits exhibition held in Paris, France.
Apollo Magazine about State Silk Museum Tbilisi
The English language monthly magazine Apollo covering visual arts of all periods from antiquity to present day publishes an article about the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi.
"The film has certainly picked up acclaim"-Vogue about "And Then We Danced"
Fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue publishes an article about the Swedish-Georgian movie titled "And Then We Danced" directed by Levan Akin.
Shopping Hotspot in Barcelona Created by Georgian Designer
Metal Magazine publishes an article about a shopping hotspot Darial created by a Georgian fashion designer Djaba Diassamidze, who has also established his own atelier there.
Georgian Actress taking part in New York play festival
According to Georgian media holding Kvira Georgian actress, Anna Cherkezishvili participated in New York ten minute play-festival.
Tbilisi takes third place in the best destinations of Europe 2020
Tbilisi, the capital city of Georga took third place in the international competition "The Best Destinations of Europe 2020."
Story of Winery that received first Bio Certificate in Georgia
It is said Iago’s Wine is one of the few wines which makes you admit that wine can be red, white, pink and now amber as well.
New virus is to strengthen our faith, says Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
"A new virus has emerged and many people are scared of this virus. Some have called it the "deadly virus."
Top 5 must-listen Georgian folk songs
The folk music of Georgia consists of at least fifteen regional styles. Georgian folk music is predominantly vocal and is widely known for its rich traditions of vocal polyphony
Hotel Heritage Hotel & Suites opens in Tbilisi
Hotel Heritage Hotel & Suites was opened in Tbilisi, Saint-Petersburg street 6.
Livescore yesterday and the “Goddess” from Bergamo
The inhabitants of Bergamo have long been waiting for the triumph of their football team.
“Holiday Factory pioneered Georgia in the UAE to become famous”
Holiday Factory was officially announced as The Best Incoming Tour Operator 2019 at Welcome To Georgia! National Tourism Award event held in Sheraton Grand Metekhi Palace in Tbilisi on Friday, Dec 6th.
Kavkaz Jazz Festival presents: 22nd and 23rd of November, Tbilisi Music Forum and Showcase.
It is the first year for Tbilisi Music Forum and Showcase. Main goal of the event is development of music industry in Georgia and South Caucasus region.
Sam Raan Spa-Center named Best Spa in Europe
The Sam Raan Spa-Center has been named the Best Spa in Europe at the annual Haute Grandeur Global Spa Awards 2019 and won the following nominations:
Region’s Largest Startup Event to be Held in Tbilisi
On November 8-10, 2019, regional Startup Grind event will be held in Tbilisi.
Georgian royal family introduces new wine brand "Prince Ioane Bagrationi"
Member of the Georgian royal family Prince Ioane Bagrationi introduced the society new wine brand named after him - "Prince Ioane Bagrationi".
Georgia Celebrates Day of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral today

The day of Mtskheta city and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is celebrated on 14 October in Georgia.

Georgian Wine Festival 2019 to be held on October 12 on the Shardeni street
Those who are interested and want to know more about Georgian wine can attend Georgian Wine Festival 2019 on October 12 on the Shardeni street. Event starts at 12 pm and lasts till 7 pm.
UNESCO names Tbilisi as Capital of World Book 2021
UNESCO has named Tbilisi as the Capital of the World Book 2021.
Robot Mzia’s preparation for First global – she plays basketball and does pull ups
After the famous robot Vano, Robot Mzia is preparing for the international competition “First Global.”
What comes after Frankfurt? Paris!
The year following the appearance as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair is known as a difficult one. What are the strategies of Georgian publishers for 2019?
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
25.02.2020
26.02.2020
USD
1
USD
2.8079
2.7946
EUR
1
EUR
3.0370
3.0291
GBP
1
GBP
3.6233
3.6266
RUB
100
RUB
4.2987
4.2607
Other Stories
The success story of Georgian musicians goes beyond the country’s borders.
Gelati Monastery, a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia,
Georgian Prima Balerina Nino Ananiashvili will perform the main part in Romeo and Juliet
Promising Georgian actor Irakli Kvirikadze has been featured in a trailer
National Georgian Ballet Sukhishvili (also known as Sukhishvilebi) have recently presented their new program
The European Film Promotion (EFP) presented the 10 best emerging actors from Europe
It is an ancient tradition in Georgia, yet very alive.
My Georgian Reality is the illustration series inspired by everyday life.
Many distinguished persons such as Alexandre Dumas, Knut Hamsun traveled to Tbilisi and were captivated by its diversity and beauty.
Georgia’s latest and one of the most successful Georgian films My Happy Family is already available on Netflix.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7946
EUR
1
EUR
3.0291
GBP
1
GBP
3.6266
RUB
100
RUB
4.2607