It is with great pleasure that we announce Wave, the first solo show by Keke Vilabelda at the gallery.
OPENING : 26.01.2023 / 7 – 10 PM
DURATION : 26.01 – 18.03.2023
Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues
In his first solo exhibition at NO·NO Gallery, Keke Vilabelda presents a set of works that encourage a shift in perception, working on an idea of illusion and speculating on the nature of painting.
The images that the artist presents to us gravitate between what appears to be a photographic record when seen from a distance and a set of actions which, in proximity, focus on the procedural development of the work. Revealing a thought and a gear that operate on the conventions of painting, Vilabelda applies the paint to the back of the acrylic and presents us with the other side, placing us inside a system of composition that works by strata or layers, from the surface to the...background, and from the background to the surface. Reversing the immediate recognition of the figure, the images appear with the reading of a first level, where, subtly, the drops of paint denounce the nature of the medium. In the same way, Vilabelda reveals to us the dislocation of the hand, or the nature of the gesture, the ballast of the paint, or the amplitude of the movement, and the variations in intensity, or its tonal densification, which are positioned on a second layer.
When we gain distance, the image suggests the shape of one or more buildings, in an apparent city, in a nocturnal ambience, but the ambiguity that it holds also brings us closer to the figure of a curtain that bars the gaze. In the duality between something that absorbs us and something we can touch, between the scale of the building and the scale of the hand, what exists on the other side is always inaccessible, placing us in a place of isolation, reinforced by a staged gaze that is directed from the bottom upwards.
In fact, if the figures that the image suggests rehearse a vertical stratification, recognized planimetrically in the rhythms of black and white, and in the distortion of perspective, the logic of the painting equates a horizontal sequence, which, promising an existence between the background and the surface, works an idea of depth. Thus, if in the first case the gaze travels across the face, in the second it crosses over and scrutinizes the constitution of the work.
Gravitating between something that celebrates result and process, figuration and abstraction, Keke Vilabelda operates on the nature of the gaze. Disturbing the clarity of the image to uncover the nature of the painting, his action summons a performativity in the observer. The latter, between distance and approximation, oscillates between retinal perception and corporeal comprehension. Thus, if in the words of Pallasmaa "The hegemonic eye seeks domination over all fields of cultural production (...)", Vilabelda equates a perceptive experience that acts as a whole, to act, provocatively, in the opposite direction.
 Pallasmaa, Juhani "The Eyes of the Skin - Architecture and the Senses", Academy Editions, London, 1996, pp.13