Raymond Legaspi spent 20 years in advertising before finally focusing on painting.
With a new creative freedom, unencumbered by clients’ many restrictions and requirements, he says: “It is time to create or document important and meaningful experiences.”
“Casting Memories,” Legaspi’s latest solo show, presents scenes from his time as a Fine Arts student at University of Santo Tomas in the 1980s. As a Negrense boy from the laid-back city of Silay, moving to Manila spelled excitement and freedom for the young Legaspi.
He remembers the rebel style and spirit of punk rocker classmates in the acrylic-on-canvas work “Major in Advertising,” and the titillating adventures of hormonal college boys in “Last and Final Number,” a scene from one of the many girly bars along Taft Avenue.
But there is also downtime with “Sea Wall Reclamation,” where a few friends hang out with a cooler full of beer by the bay, atop their trusty red Ford.
Legaspi recounts that he and his friends were almost arrested by police for violating a certain Presidential Decree (PD 555), but the worst they got was for their beer to be confiscated.
Manila of the ’80s exposed Legaspi to the dynamism of the Big City and its social stratification; it exposed him to Social Realism in art and political activism and mass rallies.
“Though I was not active in joining rallies and mass actions, I was amazed at what opinion could do to the young. It was everywhere. It was visual energy and excitement,” Legaspi recounts.
“Casting Memories” is on view at Canvas Gallery and Garden, 1 Upsilon Drive Ext. and Zuzuareggui St., Alpha Village, Diliman, Quezon City. For more information, visit www.canvas.ph or contact 0917-3064175.