Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Indecision" by a Filipino surrealist painter JON JAYLO

A British politician, Aneurin Bevan (1897 - 1960), once said on indecision: “We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.”

In this picture, the artist allegorically illustrates “indecision” as opposing forces by using the imagery of a three-wheeled bicycle with two faceless men sitting back to back pedalling in opposite directions.

A satire and a metaphorical quest for truth depict, not only the psychological conflict within, but apt amid the political crisis of our country (Philippines) and the conflicting personal interests among our political leaders.

The contrasting colors and the subtlety of symbolic elements make this painting so appealing to the mind and senses, addressing an urgent universal message on shared vision, concern and unity in our politically-troubled society.

Using a water mixable oil paint, the artist has achieved an elegant style of pictorial composition with the classic appeal of a master’s touch.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: "Indecision" by a Filipino surrealist painter Jon Jaylo.

Artist's Site:

“Yakap” (Embrace) by a Filipina-Chinese painter JANICE LIUSON-YOUNG

There is something celestial in the portrayal of “Yakap” (Embrace), something invincible that only an experienced mother could depict such sensitive and warm ambiance of mother and child bonding.

Securely nestled at her mother’s arms, the child seems to be relishing that timeless moment of warmth and comfort. While the mother, dressed in a traditional Filipino costume, tenderly feels the fragile presence of her child as though she is listening to the incessant beatings of their hearts.

Using an acrylic paint as a medium, the fluidity of thin brushstrokes is conspicuous on the surface of the canvas, thus, giving the artist a free rein to achieve a placid texture on his subjects.

And if one would take a closer look at the artwork, a yin-yang element is likewise noticeable in the rendition of tonal values. The lighter portion at the left side of the painting signifies “yin” (white) while the darker portion at the right side signifies “yang” (black).

Here, the artist, consciously or unconsciously, fashioned a powerful interplay of elemental energies that gives life and drama to the mother and child interaction.

As a Filipino symbolic image for motherhood, the mother and child painting gives the viewer a fresher look from the woman’s point of view, as the artist proficiently created mood and feelings in the final touch of her delicate composition.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: “Yakap” (Embrace), acrylic on canvas by a Filipina-Chinese painter Janice Liuson-Young.

Artist’s Site:

"Soul Mate" by a Filipino sculptor Seb Chua

A soul mate may not be a husband or a wife, a lover or a friend, but someone whom you feel connected as though you had been part of each other in the past.

In this piece of sculpture, the artist depicts the woman securely resting on the man’s breast with her right hand touching gently on the man’s shoulder. His right arm, on the other hand, is wrapped around the woman’s body giving that feeling of reassurance that everything is all right.

In this particular instance, one could feel that indescribable bonding between the man and the woman, that pervading heat of their bodies and that sense of eternity lingering in their souls.

Ironically, the characteristic of metal is a contrasting element in the artwork, but the artist painstakingly transformed its cold and hard nature into a soft, warm and sensual image of human bodies.

Rendered in geometric shapes and forms, the sculptor successfully created the tension and drama between the material and the final touch of his creation.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: “Soul Mate”, by a Filipino sculptor SEB CHUA.

Artist's Site:

"Dog Show" by a Filipino painter CJ Tañedo

Perhaps, the closest and loyal among the domestic animals to human beings are dogs. There are heroic stories between man and dog; they are heart-warming stories of loyalty and friendship.

In this painting, however, the artist uses the imagery of dog to portray a bleak yet comical socio-political reality in our society.

Political leaders are like dogs as though they knew nothing but to squabble and bark at each other. And when a political scandal or controversy erupts, they utilize the mass media to stage their “dog show” and cover up their ineptitude before the very eyes of their respective constituents.

The artist redefines the current political situation through a compelling image of half-dog and half-human portrait, an unscrupulous persona, which is hauntingly residing in the politicians’ psyche and sub-culture.

Ironically, dogs are more sensible and loyal to human beings than the political leaders who used and abused their political power for their own advantage instead of the common good of the people.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: “Dog Show” by a Filipino painter CJ Tañedo.

Artist's Site:

“Typical Alaska Home” by a Filipino photographer LEONARDO VILLAFRANCA

Photographs are optical memories from the visual world percolating from the lenses of the photographers to convey reality and meaning through the human eyes and senses.

In this particular picture, instead of revealing the perspective of the composition, the photographer deliberately obscures the subject so that one can only see a glimpse of an incomplete image reflecting on the stagnant water on the ground.

The photographer invites the viewers to see a different perspective of reality, a reality that literally or figuratively reflects nature or human life for that matter.

Titled as “Typical Alaska Home”, this is one among thousands of images seen and taken by the photographer in his journey at different places around the world.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: “Typical Alaska Home” by a Filipino photographer Leonardo Villafranca.

Artist's Site:

“Turn the Beat Around” by a Filipino sculptor FERDINAND CACNIO

If I were to define the aesthetic meaning of “dance”, I would describe it as a poetic ascend of body movement within the spatial beat and rhythm of musical instruments.

The sculpture “Turn the Beat Around” captures that essence of poetic body movement in a timeless stance, masterfully choreographed in a suave and élan manner.

At a first glance, one could almost feel the dancer’s whirling hair, arms and body searing with energy, flailing with the surging beat and rhythm of music, as if liberating that restrained desire from within.

Though seemingly frozen in space and time, the sculptor successfully created a theatrical picture of the dancer’s compelling performance in the human imagination.

Using metal sheets of brass and copper, the artist deftly fashioned the pliability of the medium to mimic the sensual form of human body – breathing life and energy in the final stroke of his oeuvre.

© Danny C. Sillada

Artwork: “Turn the Beat Around”, metal sheets of brass and copper by Ferdinand Cacnio

Artist’s site: