Friday, January 18, 2013

emosyon art exhibit - legazpi city

burikbutikan artists:  OsacnaB & bidibidi join artists from albay province in an exhibit.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

abstracting R.E.D.

Rev. Fr. Nunilon Arnold F. Bancaso, Jr.
12 January 2013
Cafe des Artes, Baao, Camarines Sur
when i was trying to conceptualize what my project will be, for the annual solo exhibit, i initially considered the subjects i have taken during my photography sessions, i.e., flowers and people, not as photos, but rather as subjects for paintings.  i abandoned the idea for the moment, however, 
and set them aside for future works.  
what made me decide to work on this new set of art pieces in this exhibit, was my perception that there is a need for us, artists, to work on something that allows us to know, to be more critical, and discover more ourselves.  this is because of my belief that others, artists and non-artists alike, should not be contented of what they commonly see as it is. . . but rather transcend sense perception to a higher level of abstraction. . .of critically thinking, and later on, living.  John Paul II said: "every genuine artistic intuition goes beyond what the senses perceive and, reaching beneath reality's surface, strives to interpret its hidden mystery."  furthermore, the great Lao Tzu once said:  "a good artist paints his vision; while a great artist lives his vision."
as an artist, i always try to put into my works, my priesthood.  thus you can see and interpret my works under the light of who i am and as to what i am most inclined to.  my being, as an artist is now inseparable to my being, as a priest.  in this context, my works are my prayers, reflections and beliefs, products of inspiration provided by the church's two great sources of Revelation:  Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. as John Paul II stated in his letter to artists:  sacred scripture has thus become a sort of "immense vocabulary"  (Paul Claudell) and "iconographic atlas" (Marc Chagall), from which both Christian culture and art have drawn.  the Old Testament, read in the light of the New, has provided endless streams of inspiration. . .for everyone, believers or not, the works of art inspired by the Scripture, remain a reflection of the unfathomable mystery which engulfs and inhabits the world."  true, indeed, the scripture is a great source of knowledge, if properly used.

in addition to these two great sources, i tried, in this new set of works, some ideas from artists, philosophers and theologians i encountered in my readings, and interpreted or transformed their ideas into a simpler form of abstraction.  if you happen to encounter the works of Steve Joy, you will see his "sacred geometry" by combining figurative religious art form with modern abstract one, to form his "Uncreated Lights".  with this, we can say, that truly, what we believe will be seen in our works.  and i hope you will also see it in mine.
unlike my previous works, what you are seeing are not of brilliant colours, none of the usual lines and circles, seemingly gay and joyful;  but only simple black and gray, of red and dark hues.  is this another stage of artistic endeavour?  is this similar to the blue period of the great Picasso, as others have asked?  it is not.  it is still the same artistic period of so great enthusiasm, of so joyful mood, of great inspiration, of colourful atmosphere that even mere black and red can represent them all.
R.E.D. is not a representation of a period, it is neither a mere colour used in these works, per se, but rather it is just an acronym that best suits my ideas of Religion, my love for the Environment and my Dreams.  these three, vividly expressed the realities that we can penetrate the deepest longings, of man.  abstracting R.E.D. is another way for me to give material existence to many unseen worlds and tempi, just like Mark Rothko had said.  To support this, for John Paul II,  every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of God, of man and of the world. . . "they seek to probe the true nature of man, his problems and experiences, as he strives to know and portray his miseries and joys, his needs and strengths, with a view to a better future."
Religion is a must.  Christianity allows me to see myself more clearly as an imperfect being and that i need someone to cling on.  as the medieval philosopher Origen said: Jesus is Autobasileia, kingdom in person.  he showed me how to live for the kingdom for He is the kingdom.  Jesus is the one who shows the way (Grk. hodegetria) simply because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  it is never an oppressing reality as Karl Marx saw it when he said that, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of the heartless world, and the soul of the soulless condition.  it is the opium of the people."  rather, let me say, that it liberated man, gives him strength to face life's challenges and even up to the point of knowing more himself.  but we can only experience its benefits if we are ready to believe, accept and die for what we believe.  "what good then it is to have knowledge of the gospel, to know all the dogmas and doctrines, to have faith if it does not give meaning to your life"  said Kierkegaard.
furthermore, i see there is a need for us to re-evaluate our ideals and principles in the light of what we believe in.  we might have faith but our actions and perspectives are never in accord with it.  that faith and religion will be thoroughly futile and useless.  if this faith will be filled with uselessness, Nietzsche will then be correct to hammer down that hollowed walls of faith and change it.  this religion represents anyone's religion.  if you are familiar with Wallace Putnam, his Sufi practice is never set aside in the process of painting, it becomes a visionary sacrifice, as a torment, and as a way to the Divine. . .
Environment / Ecology is inseparable to our lives.  we are all living in a world. . . no one is living without the context of being in an environment.  you don't have to consult Heidegger's idea of Dasein to know that you need to take care of the world; or even Husserl and his companions just to know that you are in a kind of situation and context.  just try to look at where you are and you will know hat you have to do something.  only that, in our desire to have a better world of machinery, of great technology, we put this world in danger.  for this reason, people now are crying for help because of the world's anger through its calamities and the like.  our environment needs order, rehabilitation and more so, beauty.  John Paul II appealed to artists:  "This world", he said, "in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair.  beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart and is that precious fruit which resists the erosion of time, which united generations and enables them to be one in admiration!"  our world must be seen as part of us.  as artists, we can add beauty and order to the world because as Benedict XVI stated in this book, Jesus of Nazareth, "the world manifests God, a kind of Theophany."
vir desideriorum
Dreams stretch our hopes and desires.  As the Book of Samuel stated:  "Vir desideriorum."  we are men of longings.  in his encyclical letter, Benedict XVI said "spesalvi facti sumus" - in hope we were saved. . .and that we can face the present. . .and that we have a future.  not that we know the future but rather we know that life will not end in emptiness.  this is what dreams can also do for us. . .they allow us to see what lies ahead of us, a glimpse of a better life than what we have right now.  dream is a free thing; it allows us to move forward, to smile for another day, to even make a promise.  in this present context of the world, we need to dream and allow others to do so.
before i end my discourse, allow me to use the words of John Paul II to give this reminder:

"The Church needs Art.  Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God.  it must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which in itself ineffable.  Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colours, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen.  It does so without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery.  I wish to remind each of you that, beyond functional considerations, the close alliance that has always existed between the Gospel and art means that you are ivited to use our creative intuition to enter into the heart of the mystery of the Incarnate God and at the same time into the mystery of man."
To end, borrowing the words of Kristina U. Amadeus, i thank God for the divine gift of the creative fire.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Al Oliva - artist extraordinaire

burikbutikan artists collective takes pride in its membership composition in that the different areas of expertise of its members cover almost the whole spectrum of the arts.  
one such artist is in the person of al oliva, who does not only paint on canvass, but also sculpt.   
some of his works are at the cafe des artes and most are in his studio.

 viva, al!

abstracting R.E.D.

the first exhibit this year at the Cafe des Artes, OsacnaB's solo:

abstracting R.E.D.

seeya'll there!

sponsored by the Burikbutikan Artists Collective, Inc.


Friday, January 4, 2013

creer es crear

i live my faith.  i believe, therefore, i create.  
OsacnaB's abstractions

Cesar Gumba

bidibidi's patchwork dreams

King Oliva's pen renditions (SOLD)

Raul Alcomendaz

Frank Penones, Jr.  & Julius Bicaldo

Al Oliva

 our works are our prayers.