“It is such a beautiful day.” Vassago said while laying on his back under the shade of the fragrant magnolia. His eyes were closed and he swam in the dreamy pleasures of the summer. The heat was just the way he liked it, heavy and sticky and filled with thick and fetid city odors. Baked loam and sour asphalt.
“You find pleasure in everything. That is what I love about you.” Alti said while gazing into the bright summer sky. Their sticky arms were touching and Vass turned and smiled at him. He held Alti’s hand; their palms tacky with sweat.
“Whats not to like?”
At the moment Alti could think of a few things - the gnats buzzing in his ear, the mosquitoes feasting off him, some of the rank and unsavory city smells wafting his way, and the oppressive heat, but he decided not to mention them. Alti knew that Vassago loved those unpleasant things and wouldn’t understand.
A snort came from Alti’s other side and he turned to see what Gyoza, his beloved pet podgolin, was up to. Gyoza was on his side scratching at his spines and playfully chewing on a dandelion.
“How was your meeting with the counsel?” Vass asked as if he was asking how the sandwich was that he had for lunch.
“Really? What do you mean? This is the third meeting you have had since you were approached.” Now with more interest and concern. “Did you mention the threat this time?”
Alti let go of Vass’s hand and rubbed Gyoza’s side. Gyoza noticed, but continued playing with the flower.
“I didn’t. I did make sure they knew it was serious this time.” Alti hesitated. He hated to burden anyone and that included the counsel and Vass. “They know it is bad. And important.”
The heat felt like a unbearable blanket of wet hot wool and Alti began to squirm. He sat up and Vass followed, but Gyoza stayed down, lazily mouthing the weed. Alti wanted to change the subject.
“Play us a song.” Alti requested with a forced smile. He was determined to preserve the special time they had together on this sweltering day.
“You’re in danger Alti.” Vassago hesitated to go further. “I have seen it.”
Alti’s smile fell ever so slightly. “Come on,” He took Vass’s hands. “Play us a song.”
Vass gave him a look, one that said this important and shouldn’t be dismissed, then removed his harmonica from his pocket, thought for a brief moment, and began playing. The notes were low at first and pulled from the gut. Alti did not know the song, but it sounded familiar. Vass moved with the music and you could see from the way he played, that the song seemed to be moving though him and out of him. Taking parts of him with it. Tearing at him has it came out in a slow somber dirge.
“That was beautiful.” Alti said. It had put Gyoza to sleep and his tiny snoring lightened the mood a bit. Alti didn’t ask what the song was called or what it was about. He knew it was telling the story of what may come. “I’ll talk to the counsel again and tell them about the threat.”
Vass smiled and kissed Alti. The gnats and mosquitos settled again as they layed back down and gazed into the canopy of the blooming magnolia.
Born in Southern California in 1984 to Mexican immigrants, Emilio Villalba felt his artistic drive early on. Emilio initially studied animation and received his BFA in 2006 from the Art Institute of California and quickly began work in that field in his early 20’s until moving to San Francisco and transitioned to the medium of painting. In San Francisco he received his MFA in Painting in 2012 from the Academy of Art University. Villalba’s work reflects his studies in both abstract and figurative painting. At the core of Emilio’s painting’s there is pure portraiture, but great focus on the disharmony of the self and perception. Pressures from society and the toll it takes on the emotional state of the subject when confronted with benevolence. Raw emotions and the fragility of the soul. Villalba overlaps and repeats human features with a kaleidoscope effect. “Don’t Worry” is the 2018 painting of his that I decided to feature. It pulls you in with a sadness at its core and doesn’t want to let you go. It reminds me of the face we may give to the world, that all is ok, but the eyes tell a different story. I urge you follow the links below and discover his somber and seductive work.
As of October 2016, I intended to use this blog as an accompaniment to my Facebook page and Instagram page. On this blog I post information and updates about my work as well as once a month I highlighted an artist whose work I like (I stopped doing this when I opened my gallery www.GalleryBlueDoor.com). As of March 2017, I began posting a monthly Story Entry with an accompanying illustration of mine. In mid-2019 I took a break from this, but it will resume.