Earlier this year I was introduced to Leo Villareal’s work at the San Jose Museum of Art. It was expansive, colorful and at times mesmerizing. When the show moved to the Nevada Museum of Art, I was able to not only see it again in different surroundings but also meet and work with Villareal, have a wonderful dinner and show him the exciting, albeit unique, aspect of Reno nightlife (which I am sure he is still wondering “what the hell just happened to me that night”).
Aside from being a genuinely nice guy, Villareal is also a very talented artist and shrewd businessman. He has brought his art from small pieces that you hang around your neck in the dust of Burning Man to the massive structures covering the walls of such prestigious locations as Tampa Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and PS1/MOMA in Long Island City. And his proposed installations are fascinating. You get the idea that he just looks at the world as a huge light frame and if he had it his way he would turn Mt. Everest into a huge mound of computerized LED’s.