It's Casual Entertainment, We Aim to Please!

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It’s Casual Entertainment, We Aim to Please! 12.03.22-01.14.23 Ronald Achacoso Jon Cuyson R.M de Leon Raul Rodriguez Jonathan Olazo Trek Valdizno Cris Villanueva Jr.

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Ronald Achacoso Jon Cuyson

R.M. de Leon Raul Rodriguez Jonathan Olazo Trek Valdizno Cris Villanueva Jr.

It’s Casual Entertainment, We Aim to Please!

Our appetite to consume art is mostly driven by our need to seek for sensory pleasure that often leaves us in a labyrinth of popular aesthetics; the representational imagery, the familiar and digestible, and the marketable and ornamental art works. In “It’s Casual Entertainment, We Aim to Please!,” the audience are invited to take part in a gathering of artists whose practices have endured decades of changes in the art scene. The exhibition can be seen as a potluck of artistic works, where each artist brings their own unique conceptual ideas – an intimate look into their journey and their artistic evolution.

This exhibition showcases artists whose oeuvre exemplifies mastery of technique, while manag ing to execute with utmost freedom and control, of equal measure. Jonathan Olazo gives us a taste of what has come out of his prolific experimentations in painting. In “Elevators and Labyrinths,” we see his use of vat dye process in creating his large ground that appears as a creased and wrinkled canvas where he superimposes child-like abstracted linear markings. In it, we see hints of door-like images in varying scales and upon prolonged viewing the overlapping lines would suggest a topographic view of a maze. His work “The Bacon Arena” likewise gives the audience a suggestive imagery of a Francis Bacon painting from the sketch-like linear imagery, in which the use of geometric lines heavily influences the space where the central figure is often placed. These works encourage the viewer to make their own connection as the automaticity of the process leaves a roomful of interpretations, subject to the playfulness of the viewer’s own imagination.

Cris Villanueva Jr.’s “Someday our Gods can be Friends” and “Lazy Greedy, Frightened People Looking for Easier and Safer Ways to Do Things” are products of elaborate planning and execution that hides in the guise of spontaneity and haphazard abstracted imagery. Villanueva Jr.’s meticu lous transfer of small or digital studies into his canvases highlights his command over his chosen medium. His realistic simulation of a blackboard with chalk markings and erasures along with his tactile ink blot imagery evokes simplicity but in reality, it taunts the perceiver to induce what is left unsaid or hidden behind the palimpsests of paint.

Jon Cuyson’s “UNTITLED SOS” (Storm Season in Four Parts) ruminates over the uncertainty of our times and calls for the need of introspection. At the foreground of each work are two horizontal lines reminiscent of calming landscapes and of being parallel to the earth and serving as their backgrounds is a dividing line between a flat colored surface and another with evident random brush strokes. The backgrounds are suggestive of the polarity between the past and the present times in which we live in, while the build-up layers of acrylic paint of the horizontal bar lines denote the persistent will to reflect and stay steady on both moments.

Personal interests and interpersonal relationships frequently manifest in an artist’s work which renders a semi-autobiographical piece. This may be seen in Ronald Achacoso and Trek Valdizno’s works whose art has evolved through their experiences and passion outside the art world. Achacoso has been immersed in environmental and ecological endeavors and has used it to further his artistic pursuits. His work “Berthic Zone” emulates ecological life forms residing under the sea – vibrant and full of life. In it, we find anamorphic forms in bright colors that seem to move towards a coral like figure. In “Messenger” the images resemble the etches on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) used in computers and other technology while at the same time an may seem like an outline of overlapping biological forms. In both cases, it suggests interconnectedness across all life forms.

And what have you got at the end of the day? What have you got to take away?”

Valdizno on the other hand allows his inner psyche and his sublime consciousness permeate in his works. Using non-traditional brushes and materials, his colorful and animated compositions are depictions of his spiritual representation of the material world. He comments that “Each brushstroke comes from my direct response to an inner directive and not from aesthetic standards.” Evident in works such as “Confine Yourself to the Present” and “The Memory of Everything is Very Soon Overwhelmed in Time” his gestures exhume the moments he is in and the internalization that activates in his mind and manifests through his hands.

R.M. de Leon and Raul Rodriguez use societal issues, found images and personal musings to fuel their prolific artistic experimentations on materials and mixed media. In de Leon’s “Untitled” series, Urs Fischer’s works became his source of inspiration, an attempt to push himself to understand the latter’s process of handling paint until the resulting images screamed his own artistic voice. The collage figurative images of tropical landscapes, pacific islanders and super imposed earthly colors overlaying the compositions resonates the local flavor he has infused with the series.

Rodriguez combines contemporary events and art history to bridge the gap between the harsh ness of reality and the solace that art provides to its viewers. In his work “Bright Lights, Black Out,” he illustrates the duality we faced at the onset of the Covid Pandemic. The torn image of a forearm lying on a red cloth depicts our unwilling submission to the crisis while the balanced oval object takes a queue from Brancusi’s head sculpture – an object analogous to simplicity and tranquility. “What is More Disturbing” juxtaposes Goya’s Black Painting and the images of Duterte’s “Tokhang” operations. His interpretation of both subjects resulted in a more palatable abstracted vantage point that leaves the audience to their own conclusions and interpretations.

The invitation to this exhibition is meant for casual entertainment but the collective effort of the artists is a showcase of the potency of contemporary art to evolve into meaningful and produc tive conversions and introspections.

Ronald Achacoso

“I regard my canvases as analogs to the hidden order and processes that occur in the natural world.”

Messenger oil & acrylic on paper 106.68 x 76.20 cm | 42.00 x 30.00 in 2019

Berthic Zone oil & acrylic on paper 106.68 x 76.20 cm | 42.00 x 30.00 in 2019

Jon Cuyson

“Much like the sea, these works are symbolic containers of my internal desires and fears, and can be viewed as sites for thinking and self-reflection.”

Untitled SOS Lavander (Storm Season) acrylic on canvas 101.60 x 76.20 cm | 40.00 x 30.00 in 2022

Untitled SOS Ocre (Storm Season) acrylic on canvas 101.60 x 76.20 cm | 40.00 x 30.00 in 2022

Untitled SOS Blue (Storm Season) acrylic on canvas 101.60 x 76.20 cm | 40.00 x 30.00 in 2022

Untitled SOS Green (Storm Season) acrylic on canvas 101.60 x 76.20 cm | 40.00 x 30.00 in 2022

R.M. de Leon

"When we find ourselves in a period where everyone and everything is fodder of the captured image, where scrolling feeds our visual appetites, de Leon’s visual pickings help us focus, reminding us of the still, many possible joys in the experience of art and its making."

- Cruz, Joselina

Untitled 1 | mixed media on canvas | 121.92 x 91.44 cm | 48.00 x 36.00 in | 2022

Untitled 2 mixed media on canvas 243.84 x 121.92 cm | 96.00 x 48.00 in 2022

Untitled 3 mixed media on canvas 121.92 x 91.44 cm | 48.00 x 36.00 in 2022

Raul Rodriguez

"I do art as an attempt to explain to myself in formula some observations around me on how things happen and reformulating them into visual signals."

What is More Disturbing oil pastel on paper

23.00 x 30.50 cm | 09.05 x 12.00 in 2017

Angling the Mind Chaos oil pastel on paper

23.00 x 30.50 cm | 09.05 x 12.00 in 2018

Bright Lights, Blackout oil pastel on paper

23.00 x 30.50 cm | 09.05 x 12.00 in 2020

Desire and a 1970 Landscape oil pastel on paper

23.00 x 30.50 cm | 09.05 x 12.00 in 2018

The Sower, Tintin & My Nightmare oil pastel on paper

23.00 x 30.50 cm | 09.05 x 12.00 in 2020

"...while going through the process of painting abstract images by juxtaposition and superimposition, the resulting abstract form touches a personal nerve in a way that makes me think of a memory. The memory varies, sometimes it is sentimental or romantic, sometimes it is factual and fraught with difficulty; Sometimes it is about a work of art in art history that so often, is by itself, a source of inspiration and hope."

The Bacon Arena | mixed media on canvas | 152.4 x 223.52 cm | 60.00 x 88.00 in | 2017 Johnny Marr Made a Painting | mixed media on canvas | 236.22 x 180.34 cm | 93.00 x 71.00 in | 2017 Elevators and Labyrinths | mixed media on canvas | 238.76 x 179.07 cm | 94.00 x 70.50 in | 2017

Trek Valdizno

“My inner directive is fueled by the psyche, a rich reservoir of unconscious material that constantly strives to come into consciousness to be integrated and makes us more whole.”

What we do now echoes in eternity

acrylic on canvas 152.40 x 121.92 cm | 60.05 x 48.04 in 2022

Confine yourself to the present acrylic on canvas 152.40 x 121.92 cm | 60.05 x 48.04 in 2022

The best revenge is not to be like your enemy acrylic on canvas 152.40 x 121.92 cm | 60.05 x 48.04 in 2022

Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life acrylic on canvas 152.40 x 121.92 cm | 60.05 x 48.04 in 2022

The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time acrylic on canvas 152.40 x 121.92 cm | 60.05 x 48.04 in 2022

Cris Villanueva Jr.

Propelled by polarities and extremes of changing realities Villanueva presents a diverge array of works.

Lazy, Greedy, Frightened People (who rarely know what they’re doing) Looking for Easier and Safer Ways to Do Things | acrylic on canvas | 154.20 x 151.92 cm | 60.70 x 59.80 in | 2019

Someday Our Gods Can Become Friends | acrylic on canvas | 152.40 x 274.52 cm | 60.00 x 108.00 in 2019

It’s Casual Entertainment, We Aim to Please! CURATED BY RM de Leon December 3, 2022 - January 14, 2023


DIRECTOR Silvana Ancellotti-Diaz ASST. ART DIRECTOR Natalie Cruz EXHIBITION TEAM Gabriel Abalos Roy Abrenica Jose Jeoffrey Baba Edgar Bautista Thess Ponce


Copyright © 2022 Ronald Achasco, Jon Cuyson, Ramon Manuel de Leon, Raul Rodriguez, Jonathan Olazo, Trek Valdizno, Cris Villanueva Jr. and Galleria Duemila, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system transmitted in any form by any means without the written consent of the abovementioned copyright holders, with the exception of reasonably brief excerpts and quotations used in articles, critical essays or research.

GALLERIA DUEMILA was established in 1975 by Italian born Silvana Ancellotti Diaz. Duemila means “twentieth century”,and it was this vision that inspired Duemila’s advocacy in promoting and preserving Philippine contemporary art. To date, it is the longest running commercial art gallery in the Philippines maintaining a strong international profile. With the vision to expose its artists locally and within the ASEAN region, Duemila complements its exhibits with performanc es, readings and musical events in its custom-built gallery in Pasay City, Manila.

Galleria Duemila takes pride in being the only local gallery to publish and mount retrospectives of artists as part of its advocacy in pursuing art historical research and scholarship. With the collaboration of institutions, Duemila has mounted the retrospectives of Roberto M.A. Robles (Ateneo Art Gallery, 2011), Duddley Diaz (Vargas Museum, 2009), Julie Lluch Dalena (Cultural Center of the 2008). It has also published a book on Diosdado Magno Lorenzo (National Library of the 2009) and produced a major Pacita Abad exhibition at the Cultural Center of the 2004. The gallery maintains close ties with museums throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States. Its futurist vision keeps it at the cutting-edge of Philippine art, making and archiving history as it happens. SERVICES:

210 Loring Street, 1300 Pasay City, Philippines. Telefax: (+632) 8 833 9815 Tel: (+632) 8 831 9990 Email: / Website: Facebook: www.facebookcom/galleriaduemila Instagram: @galleriaduemila