Jean-Pierre's work explores satyric, and sometimes macabre, social compositions that underlie self-concept, intimacy, and sensual experiences. Representing intermingling carnivalesque figures, his paintings direct an incisive but empathetic gaze towards the self-conscious performativity of being, expressing striking rhythms and improvisational techniques that manifest as acts of deviation. In his play, the human body becomes a stage: sensuous, lyrical lines and dense figures of luminous color act as linguistic elements, each directing its own physical weight and affect on the bodily subjects. More closely his work examines the intersection between architecture and figurative painting with an aim to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganized body in a state of excess.
His painting incorporates an eclectic variety of techniques and mediums into the work- graphite, spray paint, screen-print, oil pastels, acrylic, and oil- in a tenacious commitment to make art that teems with energy, extreme movement, and feeling. Jean-Pierre’s inventive approach encompasses murals, paintings, sculptures, photography, works on paper, as well as collaborative projects and videos. Composed with a loose attitude to the physical qualities of his chosen medium, dynamic interacting arrangements of form and color fuse his passion for architectural imaginaries with the poetry of chance encounters. Sailing arm and body fluidly across the surface, he records a desire to be taken by surprise and arrive at a kind of image that would otherwise not be predictable.
Jean-Pierre Villafañe (b. 1992, Puerto Rico) earned his Master's degree in Architecture from Columbia University in New York in 2019. Prior to that, he completed his Bachelor's degree in Architecture at SCAD, concluding his final year of studies in Hong Kong, where he focused on the implications of urban conditions for social mobilization. His work has been featured internationally, including Diablo Rosso, Panama City, PA (2023); The Armory Fair, New York, NY (2023); Nino Mier Gallery, New York, NY (2023); Galerie Hussenot, Paris, FR (2022); The Yale School of Architecture, New Haven, CT (2022); Museo de Arte y Diseño, San Jose, CR (2021); and Galería Embajada, San Juan, PR (2021); among others. In 2023 he was awarded the TPC Art Finance Prize for the most exceptional and innovative presentation of the Armory Fair. More recently, he completed three large murals for the restaurant Cecchi’s in Manhattan, which have been featured in renowned publications such as Forbes, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Elle Decor and Vogue. Jean-Pierre currently resides in New York, where he is preparing on a new body of work for an upcoming solo show with Charles Moffett Gallery in New York.