Argentine Gaucho With Guitar Wood Sculpture by Miguel Angel Villalba
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This handsome sculpture of a gaucho of the Argentine pampas was hand carved by Miguel Angel Villalba of Buenos Aires. Born in 1943 in Paso de los Libres, Argentina, he spent his childhood on horseback with his father and grandfather. The great respect he developed for the gauchos and their daily lives is beautifully reflected in his sculptures. Señor Villalba studied architecture, but is a self-taught sculptor. In the 1970's his focus was wood sculptures of regional scenes, particularly figures of the gauchos. He subsequently began using other materials such as resin and also took commissions for public monuments. Along with his son Geronimo, Miguel Villalba currently has a studio in Buenos Aires called Arte Villalba, where they create esculturas,monumentos y escenografías (sculptures, monuments and theatrical scenery). We've included a photo of him with some of his wood sculptures.
This statue depicts a long-haired gaucho, hands grasping his guitar, at his ease with one foot on a four-legged stool with a thatched top. He is dressed in typical Argentine cowboy wear: hat with turned-up brim, neckerchief, long coat over breeches and boots with spurs. At his back, we see a dagger tucked in his belt and his sword in its scabbard. He stands on a rectangular plinth, where the sculptor's carved signature appears on the right: VILLALBA.
This wood carving stands 15 inches tall, with a base 6 3/4 inches long and 4 inches front to back. It weighs just shy of 3 pounds. Expertly hand carved, with a natural finish, it's in very good condition. There are a few faint scrapes on the back and a split in the wood in the front of the base, which may be original to the block of wood or it has opened up since from changes in ambient temperature and moisture. Created by a Spaniard considered a great humanist artist, this sculpture is decorative and highly collectible.
>>> Here is the link to the Arte Villalba website: