Hironaka’s intriguing art of home interiors | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

"A PORTRAIT of a Home"
"A PORTRAIT of a Home"
“A PORTRAIT of a Home”

CHERYL Villanueva Hironaka’s jubilant aesthetic owes to her many years of scouring flea markets in Europe for antique finds with storied provenances, as well as her Parsons design training.

All of this adds up to her newest show, “Exhibit 19,” in Gallery Nine of SM Megamall. The paintings are renderings of distinct furniture; they come in antique frames from her own collection.

"CHAIR No. 1"
“CHAIR No. 1”

Hironaka gets the design gene from her interior-designer mother; she was raised by collector-parents, which should explain her passion for collecting.

She took up Psychology, but later went on to study graphic and interior design at Parsons New York; photography at Parsons Paris; and painting at Ecole d’Arts Plastiques. She also studied pottery at the Greenwich House in New York, and at Le Terre Argile and Espace Beaujon in Paris.

It was in Italy, however, that she really bonded with art and found her style.

“When I was younger,” she said, “I visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and there was a small room dedicated to the art by a girl named Pegeen. She was the daughter of Peggy Guggenheim and had died at a young age. I fell in love with her work.


“Strangely enough, during my years in Paris, I met her son—Nicolas Helion—because he is an art dealer, and he bought a few of my pieces and told me that my work reminded him of his mother’s work.

“Only later did I realize that he was Peggy Guggenheim’s grandson and grew up with his grandmother in that Palazzo in Venice that now houses the Guggenheim collection.”

It is apparent in her works and their titles that remembrances of home and family move her to paint, as in “Portrait of a Home” and “A Fleeting Moment.”

“Inside My Rabbit Hole” evokes her abode as a refuge that has anchored amid her travels and transfers from the United States to France, Japan and now Vietnam.

In her depictions of living spaces that are lively yet relaxed, there is often a dog or a cat and even a turtle to seal the feel of home.

"CHAIR No. 3"
“CHAIR No. 3”

“I love painting interiors,” said Hironaka. “I paint only when I am in a good mood, when the sun is bright and I am happy. I hope this energy transfers into my work and brings a feeling of happiness to the audience. As an artist, I hope to bring happy life energy through my paintings and furniture into their homes.”

Hironaka evinces verve and joy through her pulsing lines and thick strokes of texture that reveal her admiration for the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. This is echoed in her renderings of furniture design accents, and complemented by the antique frame’s intricate carvings and patina.

She said she considered the marks of time in the frames as lovely, arguing that “perfection is dull.”

Her painting of a candelabra evokes fantasy. Iron legs and frames are painted in such a way as to belie their hardness; they are tapered into tentacle-like extremities that seem to animate the furniture.

Metal curved into backrest tendrils and plush upholstery are her nod to Garouste et Bonetti furniture.

“I have so many favorites, and all of them surely inspire my style of art, but I must say my passion for furniture design is what inspires me to paint,” Hironaka said. “When I have ideas for designs, I like to envision them in a living space, and painting helps me with this process.”

 Call 9108016 for more details. E-mail author at [email protected].

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