March 2010

In the Studio of Tarzaan

Natural elements and the industrialized world synthesize and contradict in the art of Alejandro 'Tarzaan' Villalobos. He mixes and resists creating abstracted landscapes using gold and silver powders, asphaltum, varnishes and industrial paints in his paintings, prints and painted sculptures.

Nature, environment and the destruction, whether natural or industrial, are the recurring themes in the art of Tarzaan. Using industrial products he recreates what industry has destroyed in his rainforest paintings.

The experience of Cylindrical Forest is likening the external balance and filtered light in the forest with that of personal circumstances in one's own internal landscape. The exhibit at the Galeria Nacional in San Jose is an abstracted, organized stroll through a simulated organic environment.

The earthquake that hit San Jose in early 2009 is peacefully experienced in the recent large paintings that he brought to Florida to show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art Fair. The fractured earth glistens and changes as the light moves through the room. Watching Tarzaan paint is again natural and industrial. His studio is perched close to his lovely home on a ridge overlooking fields and hills. It is a large warehouse complete with catwalk where the paintings are stored neatly, a smorgasbord of art. A printing press occupies the back section, and in the open are the in-progress works.

The large canvases are spread on the floor where the work begins. Later they are tacked to the wall for the details and finish. The series is complete when the last one is removed and rolled or stretched to take its place in the next show or gallery. Tarzaan’s work can be found in museums and with collectors worldwide. One series made its way to World Bank in Washington DC in 2005.

I thought his name Tarzaan reflected his fascination with the forests of his native Costa Rica. It was surprising when he told me it was because of his soccer days and the famous jungle yell. Like his paintings, he does it well.

Suzanne Snider, March 2010

Alejandro 'Tarzaan' Villalobos

Paisaje-herido II (Hurt landscape II), 2009
mixed media on canvas
65" x 48"


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