Whether the connection is intrinsically representative or not, and only epistemologist deep in the woods of a conference committee or a comments section would ever make such a call anyway, part of the fun in an abstract work is seeing how the artist names the babies. Here, we have an exhibition by Marco Villegas titled "Immigrant Waves," and a signature work, also named "Immigrant Waves" and it doesn't seem to far off to reckon that the artist is interested in communicating some timely ideas about immigration. Yet these works are free of lame sigils or slogans or half-expired caricatures: all they address to the eye of the viewer are presentations of beauty and color balances. Is this then part of the artists idea, that immigrant waves culminate in new organic forms and constructions, balanced ad hoc and yet pleasing to the eye? Alas, I am only a Sunday epistemologist.
For local context, these works seems to occupy the region in abstract painting between Ibsen Espada and Mike Hollis. For further local context, the late Edward Albee was an early champion of Villegas' work. And no wonder, the work is instantly engaging, fecund, flippantly pixellated, rich in fruits and vegetable hues, scratched through here and there with wriggles ala Matisse's cut-outs. Throughout, the paintings wobble between organic gestures and forms with a loose geometric feel, like a Mondrian towel crumpled over a branch in an orange tree.