September 2000, I traveled to the high desert of Utah, where
I began to paint a group of works I later titled Crossing.
As my travels led me on to Tiburon and the San Francisco Bay
Area for three months and to New York City for the winter,
I continued to develop these works. By springtime I had returned
to Brussels, Belgium, and gone on to Salamanca, Madrid, and
Barcelona, Spain. I painted in each place, often beginning
a work in one city and completing it in another. Finally I
decided to conclude the voyage and opus in my homeland in Santiago,
Chile during the summer (winter in the southern hemisphere.)
is the expression of a desire that the painting become a depository
for wishes and hopes, and that the painting itself could take
in and hold that which is out of reach. With each crossing
from place to place, one is made aware of the transitory, and
that is what is recorded in the painting. Through travel, one
is encircled by so much information that the dialogue between
exterior and interior, between place and displacement becomes
deafening. In the end my subconscious is pierced, and the act
of painting is the window through which I re-invent the metaphor.
by an indifference and incompleteness that is so common these
days, I strive to bring together something more, to bring life
into each act. In the solitude of the studio, I explore mindscapes,
the perfect decor for exploration where silence speaks with
so many inaudible and abstract voices.
each place I move, I try to decipher some "why" with an almost
obsessive desire to recover that which has escaped through
the many holes in memory. Painting, once again, is a persistent
symbol of motion that speaks to me of travelogues and the need
to record experience. The incessant crossing of bridges and
more bridges, real and invisible, are like abhorrent waiting
rooms that only offer signs of absence and make the need for
refuge even more urgent. To paint is to re-create this refuge
inside yourself where you are necessarily human and need nothing,
in one place, Crossing gestates and moves on like a trail,
leaving footprints scattered along the road. It is a circular
voyage of permanent escapes reconstructed only by the fragile
memory of gestures and passage, of our nomadic journey through
Translated from spanish by Christine E. Hatch
Shaiken, Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies,
welcomes artist Hector Villarroel.
artist Hector Villarroel, Consul General of Chile, Fernado
Varela and Christine Hatch.
Stanley Brandes from the Department of Antropology, UC
Berkeley talks with Teresa Stojkov, CLAS vice Chair.
Lydia Chavez from the School of Journalism, UC Berkeley
and Hector Villarroel.
General, Fernando Varela and Teresa Stojkov, CLAS Vice
Villarroel with Tom and Lois Ashley from Bank of America.
Visiting Scholars, Professors Enrique de la Garza y Marcela
Hernandez with Hector Villarroel.