After graduating from the School of Illustration and Comics in Milan in 1999, Willow concentrated on creating his own adventurous world populated with fun-loving dynamic creatures. Throughout the years of experimenting with different techniques and mediums, the artist developed his whimsical neo-pop style, a particular mix of comics, graffiti and urban art with a pop art philosophy and features – bright and bold color palette, combination of low and high art into the realm of fine art, its accessibility and engagement with larger audiences. All of these traits helped him get attention from the art gallerists, collectors and also led to fruitful artistic collaborations with large Italian and international brands such as Vespa, Fiat, Motta, Chupa Chups, LYRA Germany and many others.
Willow possesses an impressive curriculum with more than 25 solo shows. Now his iridescent new series of paintings and his multicolored cheerful characters have come to the most popular and the most international town in the South of Spain – Marbella! They are positive, curious and talkative. The artist adds vividness by making his characters speak through speech bubbles – like they do in comics. Instead of the usual onomatopoeic words like ‘Boom!’, ‘Bam!’ and ‘Pow!’, he uses random sounds like ‘Fiz!’, ‘Pib!’ and ‘Ma!’, which seem to be words from some language. This way, Willow emphasizes the universality of his art, where the viewers are free to interpret each image, word and character in their own way.
With the seemingly easy technique and light-hearted subjects of his paintings, the artist introduces important philosophical questions such as the meaning of happiness in life, the importance of control of your life and the relationship and dynamics between communities. His artworks spread the message of positivity through the colors used and his harmonic and bubbly characters, almost urging the viewer to keep moving through hardships; such as the emotional instability caused by fear and turbulence in the modern age. According to him, the solution to all is positive thinking, actions and a journey as a group where no one is left alone.
You are welcome to join the happy movement of “Ma!rbella Safari”!
The exhibition will take place from March 16th until April 24th, 2023.
Irina Machneva Mota