Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Expressive Forms are More Means than Ends

It is the expressionist artist’s aim, to get to heart of the matter, to discover the driving force that responds rather than just comment about the appearance. For them the journey of making the art is as important, if not more so, than its destination on the gallery wall.
The currently extended exhibition at Galerie Astra by Jose A. Ibay, Dante Perez and Jose Tence Ruiz convey their journeys with a mix of figurative works in Korpus 2. Each in their own way uses the human form to explore their ideas about the vulnerability of living in uncertain times. Where Ibay and Perez take an intimate view with their subject matter, Ruiz steps back to present a more worldly view.
In “Apres Moi Le Tsunami” Ruiz depicts a nude mechanic at work oblivious to mounting walls of water at his back. With the broader and somber brush work of the overhead machine and the mechanic he creates a silhouette against a tighter rendering of impending waves. In his triptych “Supa:Nanu, Supa:Uod, Supa:U2” the bush work is less evident as Ruiz employs a comic book approach to explore the evil that resides within the heart of man.
Dante Perez’s work focuses on a single figure in each of his canvases which fill the pictorial space and bring the viewers into his subject’s vulnerability. With the blue bulls eye of “Running” his intention is unmistakable as is the red torso of the one armed “Insurrecto”. Whilst with the acrylic and enamel “Umbra”, Perez’s expressive brush work within a blue and amber palette, his vision broadens to include alternative possibilities.
The ranges of possibilities that flit across the faces of Jose Ibay’s portraits give them the strength to confront life vicissitudes. Using acrylic paint and oil sticks each mark on the canvas adds to the sitter’s character which in turn enriches the viewer. With “Saplot na Paula” is the small red garment in her hand a gift being given or received? Likewise in “After the Rain” the questions are asked, the answers are bravely left for the viewer.
Korpus 2 has a few more days to run before the growing number of works on the floor claim their space on the walls. Art like life is not always a tidy affair especially when the emotional aspects bubble to the surface. If you’re quick you can catch these paintings on the 2nd floor of the LRI complex at 210 Reposo St, Makati City.

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