Latin pop artist and Port Washington resident Francisco Villagrán uses current events, images and contemporary personalities to convey his personal interpretation of the world. Villagrán’s works combine bright colors, political or cultural figures, his signature “X” that is hidden in his art and possibly one or two of his paintbrushes attached to the canvas.
“I define Latin Pop Art as a contemporary expression of the Latino presence and its influence within the American society and culture,” said Villagrán. “I arrived at the concept by combining a socio, political and economic evaluation with elements of the Pop Art movement.”
The Pop Art movement of the 1960s was made famous by artists like Oldenburg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Villagrán has chosen to continue their legacies with a Latin twist, as he is inspired by both his Mexican heritage and Spanish artist Antoni Tàpias.
“When I went to Barcelona, I went to his museum,” said Villagrán. “He is a remarkable artist and when I was doing the paintings in Mexico City for a friend of mine, he said, ‘you are like Tapias.’”
Villagrán’s art ranges from canvas paintings to big and small pop art ties. While Latin Pop Art featuring Goya cans and Latino artists such as Ricky Martin, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are Villagrán’s main focus, he also creates paintings of women, King of the Aztecs, mythology and love. Commissioned by Alan Fortunoff years ago for a Father’s Day window display at Fortunoff’s Fifth Avenue store in New York City, Villagrán also creates acrylic and oil on canvas tie sculptures, which he continues to create today.
Villagrán was born in Mexico City and studied fine art at the San Carlos Academy and the National University of Mexico, where he also studied clinical psychology. Over the years, he has taught drawing and painting in high schools and universities in Mexico and painted murals in San Luis Potosi and Mexico City. His art has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Mexican Consulate, Columbia University and the Nassau County Museum of Art to name a few. Currently, in honor of September being Hispanic Heritage month, one of his pieces is on display at County Executive Laura Curran’s office at 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola, until the end of September.