Jaime Roque: From realism to optics | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


THE SYMMETRICAL bending of light into visually precise geometric patterns can be historically categorized in the optical art movement. Coined in 1964 in response to an exhibit by artist Julian Stanczak, op art, as it is known, has as its roots in the German Bauhaus movement and its offshoots—particularly constructivism and futurism.

Painter Jaime Roque uses this optical approach in his exhibition “Kaleidoscope,” which opened on July 8, 6 p.m., at Galleria Nicolas in Ayala Center, Makati City.

For this exhibition, Roque exhibits works that exquisitely demonstrates his mastery of light and optics.

Roque (b. 1947) has long been attracted to the symmetry of optical reflections. He took up Fine Arts at Philippine Women’s University and became a pioneer of realism, he was an early follower of the American realist Andrew Wyeth, leading the Manila Wyeth School along with prominent artists Emmanuel Llado, Lito Barcelona and Nestor Leynes in the 1970s. The movement evolved into a distinctive Philippine movement known as the Magic Realist school.


“Op artists thus managed to exploit various phenomena,” said Roque. “The after-image and consecutive movement; line interference; the effect of dazzle; ambiguous figures and reversible perspective; successive color contrasts and chromatic vibration; and in three-dimensional works different viewpoints and the superimposition of elements in space.”

Roque’s transition from realism to abstraction is, in part, due to the restlessness of an experimental mind. Noting that mimetic depictions are, in reality, an interplay between subject and light, he changes the perception not only to adhere primarily to light, but also to the systematic (and in many ways, mathematic) spacing of form. The resulting patterns play with the viewer’s sense of depth, distance and perspective.

Roque has exhibited in California and Singapore, where in 1994 he won an award at the Asean Art Show. He also received the the Patnubay ng Kalinangan Award for painting awarded by the Manila City Hall in 1984.

The exhibition runs until July 17. 

Galleria Nicolas is at 3/F, Art Space, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City. Call 6250273, e-mail [email protected], visit www.gallerianicolas.com.

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