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When I dreamt of a back-to-front world

Niña con leones, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 99 x 84 cm.

Isabel Villar is turning 87 on 8th March and the Fernández-Braso, in Madrid, is celebrating this by showing an exhibition from tomorrow with her latest works of art -2019/2021-, complimenting the great retrospection that she undertook in 2018.

Diario de Estilo is joining the Fernández-Braso celebration; as well as Eduardo and Sergio Sanz, her family, with her grandmother Ana Mirat, her engineer father Miguel and her uncle Manolo; alongside Alfredo AlcainAntonio ZarcoÁngel DoresteVicente Vela and Eduardo Sanz -ever Eduardo-, her ‘true friends’ from the  “La Cepa” group; as well as Eugenia Niño and the 1970 Sen Gallery; and Josefina Aldecoa, Carmen Martín GaiteFernando SabaterJosé Hierro… with their marvellous texts; those accompanying angels with multi-coloured wings yet do not fly, and the elephants, hippos, camels, giraffes, bears, monkeys, tigers, raccoons… for her special su particular bestiary; and, especially, for each and every one of the women who star in her paintings, standing up or sitting down, when they are not flying through the air, more ironic than naïve, fearless, alarming yet serene and, definitely, free, seemingly not waiting nor in need.: “The feminine world of Isabel Villar is autonomous, it had closed in on itself, because women are no longer victims but rather free people”, the journalist Josep Meliá wrote.

Luz de luna, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 80 x 80 cm.
Niña con dos hipopótamos, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 30 x 90 cm.
Dos amigos, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 65 x 81 cm.
Jirafa comiendo, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 80 x 80 cm.
Tres felices tigres, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 50 x 100 cm.

Congratulations, Isabel, and many very happy returns!

And let this post, with everyone altogether in tandem, our birthday present and the first unbirthday for Isabel-Alice in Wonderland:

— …what is an un-birthday present?
—A present given when it isn’t your birthday, of course.
Alice considered a little. «I like birthday presents best» she said at last.
— «You don’t know what you’re talking about! » cried Humpty Dumpty. —«How many days are there in a year? »
—«Three hundred and sixty-five» —said Alice.
—«And how many birthdays have you? »—
—One.

—«And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five what remains? »

—«Three hundred and sixty-four, of course. »

La barca, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 73 x 100 cm.
9 amigos y su ángel, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 89 x 130 cm.
Ángel con antílopes, 2020. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 65 x 81 cm.

And, for the cake and the candles, the song by Paco Ibáñez, with lyrics from José Agustín Goytisolo, at his legendary concert in ´69 at the Olympia in Paris, which I heard years later, with his voice already somewhat huskier but with my full devotion:

“Once upon a time there was a good little wolf

who was mistreated by all of the lambs.

And there was also a bad prince, 

a beautiful witch and an honourable pirate.

All of these things were once upon a time. 

When I dreamt of a back-to-front world”.

Pájaros en el bosque, 2019. Acrílico sobre lienzo. 65 x 100 cm.

Top photo: Isabel Villar photographed by Lupe de la Vallina for “El País Semanal”.

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