Embracing individuality and encouraging vulnerability are some of the major themes in the artist’s latest exhibition.
Award-winning artist Janos Delacruz’s “Pag-ibig at Lumbay” (Love and Solitude) explores the journey of adoration and unrequited love between artist and muse amid a global pandemic. Though his icons do not revolve around particular subjects, his works are meant to be viewed as an illustration of chapters from an unwritten novel—or, a self-contained short story comprising an ongoing narrative.
The paintings, sculptures, drawings, and fine prints in the exhibition capture that frantic search for both meaning and creation. Viewers are invited to trace the etched lineal and spiral patterns, akin to striations of muscles under a microscope. They are asked to reflect on each artwork to create their own truth and find their own narrative in each panel.
Delacruz’s drawings are an assemblage of random lines and patterns—an unfiltered brainstorm, a surreal idea from an incomplete dream, all rendered on paper. As he transforms his work from one medium to another, a transformation of sorts also happens, affected by the limitations of the medium and the artist’s temperament.
Though most of his artwork is rendered in black and white for the exhibition, Delacruz has always been fascinated with the art of printmaking, calling it his first love. Inspired by illustrated medieval manuscripts, the artist deliberately leaves impurities in his plates and colors his etching fine prints by hand. By doing so, he hopes to capture “individuality in the face of uniformity.”
Meanwhile, his sculptures called “Kuya Daks (Big Brother) tell the story of a man in his most fragile state, removing the “smiling mask” that he showcases in public. The artwork is a commentary on hiding your beliefs and true self as we try to conform to social pressure, norms and biases.
It also represents the reawakening of unique thought and the removal of the shackles of docility—to be able to love freely and to create without limitations.
The exhibition will run until August 16, 2022 at Art Lounge Manila – Podium, Ortigas Center. For more information, visit the Art Lounge Manila website or their official Facebook and Instagram accounts at @artloungemanila.