The Paradox of Material Flowing Backwards Toward Itself: Press Release

In the Paradox of Material Flowing Backwards Toward Itself, New York based artist Jon-Paul Villegas retraces his steps to obliquely explore issues of geography, space, and identity within the context of the southern California suburbs of his childhood. Using his home town of Lakewood, California as a departure point, Villegas spins a stilted three-dimensional yarn characterized by fear, sprawl, stagnation, and occasional fleeting glimpses of beauty. By extrapolating the metaphor of the planned community and stretching it well beyond traditional narrative parameters, Villegas creates a perverse, uncanny matrix of competing signifiers. A tall tale, loosely autobiographical, emerges, wherein the paranormal recklessly coincides with the everyday, and the spiritual wantonly courts the grotesque. The phantasmagoric imaginings of Villegas's id take the guise of abstract pop-derived sculptural accumulations and signage. The end result is an amalgam of the literary paranoia of a Don De Lillo novel and the darkly comic hallucinations of a lost suburban teenager plagued by anxiety over class, sex, death and power.

Jon-Paul Villegas has exhibited in numerous exhibitions such as Young American Artists of Today, Stas Namin Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Multiplicity, Context Gallery, Londonderry, Ireland; Friends, Galleri GL. Lejre, Lejre, Denmark and Survivalist, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA. He has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Paule Anglim and Adobe Backroom Gallery, San Francisco and most recently his first solo exhibition in New York at Black and White Gallery. Villegas received his MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in 1999 and his BA from Stanford University, Stanford, CA in 1994.

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