Talk to Me: Real Words from Real People 2010

Robert Villamagna
Gestures 14: May 8 – June 20, 2010
mixed media

Curated by Katherine Talcott


Curated by Katherine Talcott

Artist Statement

As a kid I looked forward to the carnivals that would arrive in the Ohio River valley every spring. While I loved the rides and games of chance, it was the sideshow that I found most intriguing. As he stood against a wall of freaks illustrated on huge stretches of canvas, the barker would yell out, “They’re alive…. on the inside!” This combination of the visual and the oral, and its’ impact on my childhood, is the seed to my Gestures piece. Every day of my life I am hearing tens of thousands of words spoken to me, or I am overhearing words directed towards others. Throughout my life many of these statements have found a place in my memory banks. Talk to Me: Real Words from Real People is about those word groups that I remember. Why is it that out of this endless bombardment of words that I remember these words? Why have these particular statements stuck with me? At a given time, these quotes may have struck me as profound, painful, funny, or just plain weird. These words have come out of the mouths of my family, friends, students, acquaintances, and complete strangers. As for the figures you see in front of you making the statements, I like to think that they might be connected to those people painted on the sideshow banners from my youth. Freaks, perhaps, but their words are all real.

About the Artist

Robert Villamagna is a mixed-media artist. He received a BS from Franciscan University and later attended Wright State University for a MAT. Robert teaches at West Liberty University in West Virginia, and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.