The common way to analyze a work of art is to compare it with its source. In this memetic reading, art is successful when it can represent an object or figure.
A deeper analysis takes into account the nature of visual perception of the figure. This more cerebral reading posits that vision is the ability to observe light and assign it an emotional response.
Abstracting objects is thus an attempt to forgo the figure as a distracting element in order to distill the raw emotions that can be brought about by bending man’s perception of light through a composition of pure color, shape, form and material.
In an artist’s abstract view, a work of art can be haunting in a way that the Northern Lights are haunting or romantic in the way sunsets are romantic. Abstraction, as artist Ross Capili sees it, is an evocation of feeling, tinged with a hint of memory and nostalgia.
To celebrate 40 years as an artist, abstractionist Rosscapili, master of nuanced compositional techniques of painting and an ardent student of psychology, will mount the exhibit “IlluminEssence,” which opens Sept. 23 at Shangri-La Plaza’s East Wing Atrium.
“IlluminEssence” combines the words “illumination” and “essence.”
“It is about light, radiance, glow and the tactile feel of touch,” said Capili.
Awards and distinctions
Rosscapili has exhibited here and abroad in a variety of media, such as painting, photography and digital art. He has also accumulated at least 57 awards and distinctions, including the Jurors’ Choice in the 1994 Philip Morris Asean Art Awards, 2001 Pamanang Lahi Award in San Francisco, United States, and 2009 Ani Ng Dangal Presidential Award.
His works adorn top establishments such as the Chanel Centre in Dubai, Hong Kong Airport (commissioned by Steven Leach & Associates), Philam Life Makati, Citibank and Johnson & Johnson.
His collectors include the Sultan of Qatar and Indonesian Ambassador Soedarmono.
In this exhibition, he continues his examination of abstraction as a platform for a practice based upon the combined power of technique, compositional nous and nostalgic resonance. Twenty-seven new works of acrylic mixed media—including six acrylic sheet glass “night light” oven-baked sculptures— will be on display to demonstrate the artist’s philosophy.
“My philosophy in abstraction, said Capili, “is beyond the paint drips and paint splashes. The viewer can see the surface; splashes of paint; the thick impasto of application; bright, attractive colors or the absence of colors; and the beauty of the frame.
“I don’t confine or limit myself to traditional media, traditional tools or what was learned from school. What I try to paint as abstract are the underlying emotions of the artist and the spirituality behind my subjects. In my work, there is always the challenge whereby the artist has to control the medium and not let the medium control him.”
This declaration is in keeping with the strong influences of controlled abstraction that form the essence of the artist’s vision.
Wrote art critic Cid Reyes: “Among Rosscapili’s admitted influences, pride of place is given to the American artist Paul Jenkins, whose giant canvases swim deliriously in waves and waves of merging colors.
But unlike Jenkins who allows his liquid pigments a greater freedom, allowing the colors to seek their own directions and impulses, Rosscapili prefers to orchestrate, in the manner of a chromatic conductor, the elements of his art.
From out of amorphousness, the artist directs the disposition of his shapes, colors and visual energies.”
This dedication to the cerebral aspects of art production, not to mention the drive and talent to push the scope of abstraction, defines Rosscapili’s career.
Rosscapili’s “IlluminEssence” is organized by Galerie Joaquin. For more information, call 7239418, or visit www.galeriejoaquin.com.