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Piel que llora

Mauricio Villarreal Garza
09.29.22 – 01.15.23


Mauricio Villarreal’s work is populated by ethereal beings that escape any intention of holding them. Their bodies—sometimes discernible, other times barely hinted at—are made of the same stuff as memories and dreams. It is a translucent blanket that can be passed through and touched, but not trapped, like a wisp of smoke or the steam left behind after a hot shower. These ethereal characters are self-portraits in different times and perspectives of the artist’s life, since they originate from experiences and the exploration of the subconscious. Furthermore, the characters act as archetypes of social conditions, human behaviors and common fears.

For Mauricio Villarreal, art has the potential for emotional healing. The painting functions as a threshold of access to a spiritual reality that manifests itself in the memory, desires and state of mind of both the creator and the viewer who finds a bond of empathy in the work. “Piel que llora” (Crying Skin) is an exhibition that refers to the act of somatizing that uncomfortable feeling that is not expressed. Eczema is a skin condition that sometimes results from suppressing disturbing emotions. For the artist, the act of painting generates a space for meditation to unload the contained energy in a non-verbal medium. In the works, this energy is presented in a careful, reserved and introspective way. In formal terms, the series of paintings maintains a concise color palette, tending toward monochromatic harmony, as well as a sober, synthetic composition.

The body of work that makes up “Piel que Llora” (Crying Skin) suggests a space of empathy that is possible when experiencing vulnerability, helplessness, and oppression, and the way in which art can be a tool to make wounds conscious and thus heal them.

Mauricio lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico.

PLAYLIST: “Nostalgia” Hugo Robledo