04 June 2009

Drawing Painting Exhibit

“Drawing Painting” speaks of the artists ability of drawing out their medium’s capacity to enliven, enrage, amuse, disturb; in the end, engage the viewer beyond mere retinal impressions. These works are not private Shangri-Las or Hades, exclusive or inaccessible in its allusive and allegorical arcana or private codes. This exhibit is akin to a cerebral show-and-tell session where the artists reveal their finds and treasures to those who will dare to go beyond mere retinal impressions.

This exhibit will also showcase the act of painting’s capacity of drawing out these artists’ inner resources and genius, “transubstantiating” their influences and selves-in-progress, certainties and paradoxes, world-views and fancies, into the canvass.

In their own distinct ways, these artists maximize and even forge beyond the physical limitation of their materials and artistic processes -- be it oil, acrylic, ink on canvas, paper, wood while criss-crossing forms and disciplines, customizing technology, delving on archetypes and terra incognita. They share the same gift of animating their medium, making paint follow their unique process.

Ramon Manuel “RM” de Leon’s works have always been an engaging synthesis of his fresh take on contemporary topics, very deliberate dashes of wit and whimsy and bold experimentations. He once used layers of acrylic to simulate dated hand-printed or lithograph-processed images and, through digital technology, he continues to extend his color palette and even his pen/brush strokes electronically. He currently teaches at the School of Design and Arts of De La Salle University’s College of St. Benilde and coordinates an annual children's art workshop in Quezon City.

Ronald Achacoso avers that his works in this collection “transform biology and natural science to an aesthetic crafting of symbols in painting.” His artistry effects a transubstantiation in the canvas, where “paint becomes image – image becomes paint - paint and image becomes metaphor.” This painter is a also teacher and a writer who bagged the Art Association of the Philippines’ Leo Benesa Award for Art Criticism in two consecutive years (1993 and 1994).

Raul G. Rodriguez, a visual artist of punk slant in the 80’s, is also an animator, minister and a long-time confrere of RM from their UP days. He “explore(s) the tributaries” initiated by his wide variety of influences that ranges from Caravaggio to Matisse to Rothko to Chabet, pursuing the visual surprises when juxtaposing such images that would hopefully lead to new ways of seeing. Shedding light on his method, he mused that he “treats the theme or the idea at hand as a poetic interplay between chosen colors, recognizable elements, the ambiguity inherent in the properties of paint/painting in itself, the expected desired results and the improvisational rapport I experience in the art process.” Furthermore, he noted that “Style can either be your aesthetic prison or a stepping stone to knowing more of the possibilities of the visual language.”

Jonathan Olazo’s Peripeteia series reference some of his past paintings; the title comes from the name of a fictional hero who “wanted to champion a form of modernism and challenge it.” Finding out whether this hero is presently in a “state of suspended hesitation” before he goes on to a new adventure or has already reached a turning point will engage the audience, specially those long seduced by Olazo’s works, which has always crackled with his relentless self-reflection and edgy insights that always translate to exciting new oeuvres and even deeper questions.

In Valdizno’s latest solo exhibit (“Paintings from San Rafael, Bulacan,” January 2009) where he practically sculpted oils in ‘layers upon layers upon layers of paint,’ his “acts of drawing become a vehicle to infuse paint with verbs that make it live and breathe as if human.” He problematizes paint both as a medium and a commodity, a very genuine painterly concern, as noted by fellow-painter and art writer Palomar.

The exhibit will open on June 6, 4 PM at the Galleria Duemila, 210 Loring Street, Pasay City, Philippines. The exhibit is open to the public.