Keke Vilabelda | Brand New Ruins

Highways, tunnels, towers, airports. Customary getaway symbols alluding to freedom and yet exuding extreme solitude as the absence of human characters becomes an evidence. The screaming desertification of surroundings is what contributes to a perceptible timelessness in Keke Vilabelda’s works, which consist of silicon and other unconventional media superimposed onto concrete boards. It heightens an already palpable atmosphere of danger, also announced by the chemically threatening title of his series—Acid House. As if urban environments had survived a toxic attack and were henceforth sole witnesses of the passing time. 

TubeFlux, 2015, Mixed Media on Concrete and Methacrylate, Courtesy of the artist and Rodriguez Gallery 

Vilabelda’s innovative technique seems to wink at the practice of Iranian Behdjat Sadr, a leading modernist painter and among the first to gain international exposure in the 1950s. Keen on medium experiments, Sadr used to spread industrial paint over her flat laying canvases and distorted the acrylic into undulating abstractions of black and white, quite perceptible in some of Vilabelda’s plexiglass works. With vermilion brushstrokes and futuristic neon-like touches extending the monochromatic waves, the Spanish artist instills a most welcomed warmth into his ashen environments, thereby allowing their prolonged observation. It leads to the discovery of the highly metaphorical dimension attached to his urban landscapes: windows for eyes, meandering paths for untold life stories…

Under the title Brand New Ruins, Keke Vilabelda’s latest works are currently shown at Rodriguez Gallery in Poznan, Poland.