“I try to practice “simple alchemy,” attempting to give these cast-off, “worthless” objects surprising new identities, to infuse their stories with new layers of meaning. The beauty that interests me most comes through the struggle to bring things from a place of loss into a new life – to insist on the possibility of transformation.”
In life and art, Paul Villinski explores flight. As a glider pilot, he sails the open sky. As an artist, he coaxes clouds of aluminum butterflies into a lyrical orbit. Well attuned to environmental issues, Villinski repurposes discarded materials into art objects: beer and soda cans; vinyl records; musical instruments; shipping pallets. He painstakingly and lovingly guides these mundane materials into flight. For this exhibition, in terms of scale and ambition, Villinski selected recent works that push beyond what has been previously installed at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery.
Born in York, Maine in 1960, and educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, followed by the Massachusetts College of Art and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, he then moved to New York City in the early 1980s. Villinski is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and has been an artist-in-residence at many prestigious institutions, including Wyoming’s Ucross Foundation. His works hang in both private and public collections including The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Miami International Airport, Florida; in addition he recently completed a major commissioned piece for the New York City Percent for Art Program, titled, “SkyCycles”.
Villinski currently lives with his partner, painter Amy Park, and their son in a studio in Long Island City.