For every artwork, the artist takes a moment of decision with regards to what direction the creative process will take, what subject to talk about, which color palette to use, which stroke to render, which form to construct. But really it is not a matter of confusion nor is it a dilemma, but a case of calculated balance of what one feels and what one thinks. An easier way to understand it is maybe artists are tasked to derive a consensus between the left brain and the right brain at each moment of creation. In this collection, three contemporary artists engage us to trace a balance of two ideas, two directions, two points. Sometimes the said binaries are almost opposing, sometimes congruent and sometimes almost unexpected, but always their artists attempt to present them in harmony, always with relatability and always in active pursuit of relevance.
Artists Lester Amacio, Jojo Austria and Sam Penaso are among the most prolific Filipino visual artists, involved regularly in group shows every month, solo shows at least once a year, and countless fairs, festivals, residencies and art events in the Philippines and abroad. Their creativity, passion and artistic skills, of course, fuel their impressive level of productivity, but beneath those is an intense level of discipline, consistency and grit. A case of two minds, indeed – on the one hand playful, resourceful and experimental, and on another of serious professionalism, logistic mastery, and strategic timelines. This art triumvirate embody the contemporary artist – a thinker-executor, a feeler-doer, a bearer of tradition yet a stalwart of innovations.
The artists in this exhibit need no further introduction as they are at the prime of their careers as visual artists. All of them have a substantial body of work, awards and recognitions, and stable patronage. Yet the one thing that may not be as obvious for this triumvirate is their excellence in the balancing act of making art and making it to the art scene. Their art practices all have a foundation of management skills, resourcefulness and utter professionalism.
Lester Amacio has an impressive track record in exhibition design for global art institutions. His recent professional engagement was several projects for the expansion of The Louvre across the globe. Moving back to the Philippines enables him to further express his experience on diaspora. Lester’s works in this exhibit explore the philosophical potential of distances, depth, dimension and surprising departures from geometric renderings through splashes of paint or metallic lines outside of the pictorial plane.
Productive as a term may not even be fitting to the hyper-prolific practice of Sam Penaso as painter, sculptor, new media creator, performance artist and over-all innovator. Since the beginning of his career, Sam has consistently impressed the public with his adeptness with almost any material available, mastery of construction techniques and unbelievable commitment to always produce something new. Because of his limitless explorations of form both tangible and intangible, his works are always fresh and innovative. As a whole his art always illustrate evolution, tenacity for change and persistence towards discovering new ways of making art.
Given their skills, passion and proper attitude, this exhibit is only a part of the many possibilities for this art triumvirate. Prepare to always be surprised by Lester Amacio, Jojo Austria and Sam Penaso.#
Fortitude in diasporic conditions is also the backbone of Jojo Austria’s art. Years of global art practice from the concrete jungle enable him to produce profound visualizations of ideas on distance, identity, temporal dynamics and the many ways one defines what it is to be a citizen of many countries. In this collection, Jojo takes the viewers again to a subtle mix of different art movements – somehow surreal, somehow furistic, somehow expressive, but altogether marks his contemporary style.