Fernando Villena at The Situation Room, Los Ángeles.

A solo exhibition of paintings by Spanish artist Fernando Villena. The exhibition will run from October 22nd through November 13th, with a public opening reception on Saturday, October 22nd, from 6-9pm.
More about Fernando's work here:

The development of my artistic process has always been linked to my being and creating in the moment. Throughout my life, I have lived alternatively in the city and in the countryside; those experiences have profoundly shaped my creative process. By way of contrasting and complementing between these two disparate influences through my art, I share the fruits of my searching and experimentation.

My work is based on seeking and comprehending different spatial organic planes pulled from daily realities into an ultimate transformation into a pictorical abstract and photographic reality, which agglutinates its essence. The act of moving through and interacting with a new environment, in search of certain elements, infers a physical movement which in turn generates intellectual thinking, both at the level of daily life and at an artistic level.

My starting point is the act of experiencing nature and its interrelationship with the human being, yet I do not seek a visual re-creation, but rather a synthesis of organic primary shapes, still present in nature. I push to bring forth these shapes into our present architectural and technological environment.

Using computer manipulated photographic images the canvas becomes a meeting place for these different planes of pictorical and photographic reality. I use the camera to pull / draw in and out of focus elements of the environment; to turn figures into objects that lack individual importance; to transform the background landscape into the main protagonist in the frontal plane, and to ultimately change its meaning. Objects of great size become tiny, and microscopic spaces will be increased as if we were observing them through a great lens.

One portion of this work arises from the photographs I´ve taken in Arizona, California, New York, Utah, Puerto Rico, México, China, France, Ireland and Spain. These are studies of the light I observed on the natural elements of the landscapes while observing and moving through them. For the other portion of these works, I used the computer to manipulate the photos in order to obtain my intended results.

I am posing a definitive questioning of current reality, as well as my quest for an alternative definition of reality, in terms of the pictorially, photographic, abstract and organic, and through the de-contextualization of our present reality that defines my artistic practice.

The Situation Room LA 

More information about The Situation Room 


Joanna Kidney

The other day, organizing my wetsuits, the smell of the neoprene reminded me about Ireland and the time that I spent in County Mayo this year. It is not that Ireland smells like neoprene at all, but my memories about the light, landscape and people that I met there are linked to the experience that I had and surfing was part of it too.

Views from Ballinglen Arts Foundation.


Anyway, art as an experience and a way of understanding what surrounds me is something that I share with Joanna Kidney, an Irish artist that I met at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation.

During all the time that we shared at the residency, we visited each other´s studio frequently and maintained over the weeks a conversation about each other´s process and work.

With a study of complexity evolving from simplicity, process and drawing as backbone of Joanna´s work, once you get into her studio you will be immersed in a universe of related series or families of work.


Using different techniques such as drawing, monoprints, encaustic painting or groups of founded objects, natural and manmade, she articulates a body of work where you can find connections with natural, physical and sociological structures that are surrounding us. In certain way she traces a path that allows us to understand that microscopic or macroscopic scale are intimately related and that nature and humanity tend to repeat structures. Her way of working has some room for unexpected things that might happen in the creative process and become part of her practice.

Naveander, Installation view, RHA Atrium, Dublin, 2012-2013,
Felt, wool, hemp and thread,
210cm x 284cm x 168cm

Naveander (detail), RHA Atrium, Dublin, 2012-2013,
Felt, wool, hemp and thread,
210cm x 284cm x 168cm
Ordered Complexities 3, 2013,
monotypes on paper,
46cm X 46cm.
Plot VI, 2015, encaustic on panel, 60cm x 60cm

It put its face up to my face so I could see XV, 2015, encaustic on panel, 30cm x 30cm

Recently Joanna had a solo show at the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, County Wicklow, where she exhibited part of the work done during her residency at Ballinglen Arts Foundation.

As part of the exhibition there was an installation that gave it´s name to the exhibition: “Wunderkammer”.

Here you are a link to the tv program Wicklow Matters (45) where you will be able to see an interview with Joanna and her exhibition:


For further information about Joanna Kidney .


Fernando Villena. Exposición en Addaya Centre D'art Contemporani. Island Life: Work in progress.

Island Life: Work in progress.

Island life es una línea de trabajo e investigación, que se entrecruza, enlaza y coexiste en el tiempo con otras como "Una mirada a la fragua de Vulcano", "Extreme conditions, extreme solutions", etc..

La luz, formas orgánicas, tanto vegetales como geológicas, así como las experiencias vividas en Mallorca, Puerto Rico e Irlanda a lo largo de los tres últimos años son el marco en el que se centra la presente muestra. El nombre del proyecto, además, surge del título de un álbum del grupo latino "Yerba Buena", el cual ha formado parte de mi banda sonora en estos últimos años.

En la exposición podemos ver una selección obra pictórica y fotográfica realizada en Addaya en 2013, Área: lugar de proyectos, Puerto Rico 2014 y en Ballinglen Arts Foundation, 2015, así como una reflexión sobre esas experiencias.

Del 7 de Agosto al 24 de Octubre 2015.



Residency at Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland.

A month an a half has passed away since I came back from Ireland and my memories and feelings about County Mayo and Ballycastle are fresh.

It was my second time at the Emerald Island, but it has been a completely different experience. Back in 1999 my parents, my brother and I went to visit my sister to Dublin. From there we did a tour trough the island trying to visit as much as we could within a week.

Killala´s Harbour.

Moyne Friary, near Killala, Co. Mayo.

Traveling and interacting with different places, scenarios, people and cultures around the globe has become part of my artistic process. This time, thanks to the Ballinglen Arts Fellowship I have been able to stay for a month and a half, painting and taking photographs, in Ballycastle, County Mayo and surroundings. Such a nice experience, once I got there the time seems to pass slowlyer or maybe it´s that certain things don´t matter anymore, giving you a completely different perspective of time, it wasn´t anymore about minutes and hours, time was related to sunlight, tides, rain and wind.


Ballinglen Arts Foundation.

During the residency at Ballinglen Arts Foundation I shared all this experiences with Joana KidneyJoseph Ostraff, who were artists in residency at the same time, and their families. Obviously the staff of the foundation was a plus in this experience, they have created a warm atmosphere that allows you to be focused in your work from the begining.

Joseph Ostraff, Joanna Kidney and Fernando Villena
Photograph courtesy of Nathan Somers.

On the other hand Joseph and Nuala Clarke, an Irish artist who collaborates with the foundation, were doing workshops with the surrounding schools from County Mayo. As part of those workshops they came to visit us to the studios in order to know our work and being able to speak with us about it. I was free to choose if they were allowed to come into the studio, I had my doubts about it at the beginning, but it ended being a good experience for me and I hope that for them too.

Nuala Clarke and Melinda Ostraff at the printmaking studio.

Sometimes they asked completely unexpected things and I was wondering if I understood the question properly...

and sometimes my answer was as funny as their questions.

Now I´m whiling to expose my nieces to art.

I still remember when I was a kid going with my aunt to the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao an how the light came trough the staircase steps.