Thomasian artist mounts exhibit vs. social, political empathy

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Janos Delacruz opens his exhibit “Trece” during the final instalment of the Thirteen Artist Awards (TAA) at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City on Jan. 19. (Photo by Genielyn Rosario M. Soriano/The Varsitarian)

A THOMASIAN artist opened his exhibit “Trece” during the final instalment of the Thirteen Artist Awards (TAA) at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City last Jan. 19.

Janos Delacruz, an advertising alumnus from the College of Fine Arts and Design, said his collection tackles dualism and the constant conflict of ideologies such as in politics.

“Usually, in terms of painting, you only see one side of the political spectrum or the other side. [But] there’s always subjective news on each side,” he said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

As the name suggests, the “Trece” collection includes 13 mixed-media paintings and woodcut prints on canvas: six on the left representing the soldiers, six on the right representing the social activists and, in the middle, the figure of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The collections drew technique and influence from the geometric patterns of Moro art, Alfonso Ossorio’s “Angry Christ” and El Greco’s “The Last Supper,” resulting in colorful, whimsical and duplicated styles that clearly differentiated one figure from another.

Delacruz believes that art requires multiple layers of intentions, saying “a painting that only tells one story is propaganda.”

“The concept of the painting is [neither] to condemn nor condone one belief over the other… the objective of an art is not to convince you that my opinion is correct but to provoke a conversation,” he said.

The TAA is a triennial recognition for visual artists that began from 1970s. It honors 13 Filipino artists below 40 years of age, showing artistic prowess and ingenuity, awareness of contemporary issues and inventiveness.

The exhibit ran until Jan. 20. Francis Agapitus E. Braganza

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