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Thursday, June 4, 2009

DRAWING/PAINTING:


Five Artists at Galleria Duemila

Galleria Duemila brings together Ronald Achacoso, Ramon Manuel “RM” de Leon, Jonathan Olazo, Raul G. Rodriguez and Trek Valdizno in a group exhibit entitled “Drawing/Painting” from June 6 - 30, 2009 at the Galleria Duemila.

Because labels confine, it would be a disservice to these artists to call them, however loosely, abstract expressionists, although they have been called that. What surfaces more pronouncedly though is not just their passionate commitment to their art, their common alma mater (University of the Philippines’ College of Fine Arts) or past collaborative works. These artists create abstractions that freely draw away from art as mere representation or blurs boundaries with insightful figuration. While they eschew depicting easily recognizable realities, they nonetheless succeed in imparting their visions by drawing paint, to borrow from painter-writer Sandra Palomar’s description of Trek Valdizno’s recent works.

“Drawing Painting” bespeaks of these 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 syntheses 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 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 Trek 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.

Among the five of them, they have more than enough solo exhibits, CCP Thirteen Artist awards, well-received commissions, local and foreign grants and exciting future projects to keep them in top form and to hold art lovers’ interest till the next exhibit.

“Drawing/Painting” will open on June 6 at 4:00 PM. For more information, contact Galleria Duemila through Tel. No. (+632) 831-9990 or Telefax (+632) 833-9815, E-mail: duemila@mydestiny.net or visit our website at www.galleriaduemila.com. The gallery is located at 210 Loring Street, Pasay City.


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