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
The Fourth Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards
On December 3, 2018 Rustaveli Theatre will host the most remarkable event of the Tourism and Hospitality industry of Georgia
Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians
Mtatsminda Pantheon is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The portrait of the Georgian King Teimuraz II returns to Homeland
The portrait of the King Teimuraz II belongs to the collection of Bagrationi Dynasty
Georgian song Suliko performed at the Frankfurt Buchmesse 2018
Georgia was granted an incredible title this year.
Representatives of Georgian wine companies assess Georgian Wine Festival 2018
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 gives unique possibility to around 50 companies to present their wine to hundreds of Georgians and tourists.
Representatives of the government attend Georgian Wine Festival 2018
“Georgian Wine Festival 2018 is a celebration of a successful Rtveli (vintage)” – says minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia Levan Davitashvili.
Tourists speak about Georgian wine at the Georgian Wine Festival 2018
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 has been going on for several hours already on the Shardeni Street in Tbilisi.
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 kicks off on the 13th of October
Actors from the Motion theatre, drummers, fire show, Georgian folklore and the most important – Georgian wine – this is a short list of activities available at the Georgian Wine Festival
Khatia Buniatishvili opens the Frankfurt Book Fair
On the 9th of October, The Frankfurt Book Fair officially commenced.
Palitra L to be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair
This year Georgia has an incredible opportunity to introduce its culture, history and cuisine to the world.
Tbilisoba 2018 in photos
Tbilisoba is an annual festival held on the last weekend of October but this year it takes place on the first weekend of October.
Schedule for the Tbilisoba 2018
Tbilisoba 2018 will start today, on the 6th of October and last until the 7th of October.
Tbilisoba 2018 to be celebrated in Moscow
Tbilisoba is an annual festival held on the last weekend of October but this year it takes place on the first weekend of October.
Georgian alphabet in the metro of Frankfurt
Frankfurt U-Bahn has been decorated with the posters of Georgian alphabet.
A crucial year for fighting climate change: The EU steps up international cooperation on Paris Agreement implementation
The scale of the climate challenges we face today and in the future is clear.
Extraordinary photography – Gigo Gabashvili
Gigo Gabashvili was a Georgian painter and photographer (1862-1936).
Georgian dance Davluri
There are different varieties of the Georgian dance.
Georgia as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s biggest book fair.
Katie Melua Performs in Georgia on her own birthday
On the 16th of September, Georgia hosted the Georgian born British singer Katie Melua in European Square, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
Khatia Buniatishvili performs in Georgia
On the 15th of September, Khatia Buniatishvili performed with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vakhtang Kakhidze at the Djansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Center for Music & Culture
Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze wins Honens 2018
The Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze has become a Honens Prize Laureate. The Honens Piano Competition takes place every three years.
Katie Melua to give a concert in Georgia
Katie Melua, the Georgian-British singer and songwriter, will perform in Georgia. The concert will take place at 21:0 in Europe square on 16th of September, Tbilisi.
Mikhail Baryshnikov to perform in Georgia
The Latvian born Russian / American ballet dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov has arrived in Georgia.
A dance with daggers performed by the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet
The Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet perform the dance called Khanjluri, or a dance with daggers.
Sno – Georgian dance performed by the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet
Previously we have published the Georgian dance – very traditional and one of the oldest in the history of Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
17.11.2018
18.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6727
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
4.0447