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Monday, November 8, 2010

LAYER AND LAKESIDE IMAGES


In his most recent one-man exhibition, Aaron Bautista explores the gradual transition of his beloved hometown Angono, through a series of different layers and the slow merging of images from both the representational and non-representational plane of images.

Angono, being the hometown of two national artists, namely Lucio San Pedro for music and Carlos "Botong" Franscisco for the arts, has been regarded as an arts town of the Philippines. This, maybe due to its rich cultural heritage and remote isolation from the modern emerging community. It basically remains pure from the deceiving clutches of political industrialization However, as the municipality slowly gears toward modernization; it may also be a big possibility that the town might lose its old world feel, in turn affecting its influence towards its homegrown inhabitants.

This concept inspires Bautista to materialize this show, because for him, his hometown Angono is a very integral part of his maturization both as a person and as a visual artist. It's a personal journey--his take on his town's progressive evolution towards change. This change, either leaning over the positive or negative trajectory, remains to be an unanswered mystery, which makes Bautista's show interesting to both Angono residents and everyone else who isn't.

This show is a very experimental take for Bautista as an artist, because this is the first time, after his long transient period of delving purely over abstracts, that he once again plays with the possibilities of figurative art. Beneath his paintings lie a layer of printed images, toned a dark, burnished hue of sepia for its old world feel. This provides good contrast to the paintings, since Aaron's abstracts had always been known to be composed of strong, vibrant colors. In the artist's attempt to produce an illusion of a visible reality, he mixes the two opposing layers visually, creating a soft, dream-like feeling of chaos resulting from the spontaneous mixture of images. The pictures beneath vary from an old portrait of an anonymous couple to a scene taken from Angono's famed Higantes Festival or Feast of San Clemente. Everything taken from the town, and by the town itself.

Viewed from another perspective, the artist's incorporation of picture prints could mean two contradicting reactions: either the destruction of a beautiful picture as it embraces the confines of abstraction, or the rebirth of a new image through the embodiment of the artist's usual colorized layers of red, yellow, blue, and green.

This decision he leaves to his audience.

Images: Aaron Bautista
Texts: Dave Lock

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