It is unthinkable to imagine life without visual harmony, spatial harmony, musical harmony and poetic harmony. These harmonies provide the balance, the blending or the order by which the experience of something artistic becomes pleasing. In essence, if harmony is present, the artistic experience is uplifting and appears to engrave its value in the viewer’s soul. In the absence of harmony, the musical chords seem to be discordant and jangling, the visual colors and composition appear to be disjointed and disrupted.
Harmony allowed the messages of three Thomasian Fauvist Moderns, Eric Cachero, Danilo Santiago and Noli Vicedo, be translated into canvas. They offer a fresh point of view, a glimpse of their luminous genius in their individual works of art.
Noli Vicedo and Danilo Santiago are faculty members of the College of Fine Arts & Design at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). Both had finished their masteral degrees in Fine Arts at the UST Graduate School. Vicedo teaches Figure Drawing & Illustrations in the Advertising Arts Department while Santiago teaches Drawing & Landscape painting in the Painting Department. Eric Cachero is a full time painter. Formerly he owned Galactic Icons, an advertising firm, before he retired from what he says is a stressful world. He now devotes his time to painting, his ‘first love’.
Harmony ignites the fervor of these Thomasian artists, following the trail of excellence in the Arts begun by the earlier generations of artists, and learned from one of the pioneer schools in the Arts, the University of Santo Tomas. These particular works easily remind one of summer: its texture of dribbles and scribbles, its subjects cleverly played into shapes of figures, and most importantly, the flash of its prismatic colors.
This acrylic on linen canvas painting is a sharp and incisive view of the artist as he presents a contrast between the traditional nipa and bamboo settlement in a beach town in Ilocos Sur and the red bicycle. Though the simple house would have been stark bare and almost sepia in color, the artist provided the pops of color in significant areas where the sunshine made the light more luminous. The element of both the vertical and the horizontal lines provided the harmony in this painting. The bicycle in red and metal color became an unusual focal point as the viewer is now provoked with the question on where this bicycle will be leading its rider.
The oil on canvas painting presents a new way of looking at the artist’s interpretation of the modern Filipina. While the facial features are painted with the bronzed-tan typical of the Filipina’s skin, or even close to sepia tone, the hair and the garments are given a burst of colors. The attire of the female model was also imbued with nationalistic colors as the collar of the terno had the red and blue of the Philippine national flag. The hands of the Filipina were shown to be rested and holding a folded abanico, known as one of the ready ornaments symbolic of female coyness in the olden times. As the viewer gazes at the artist’s rendition of the modern Filipina, one is provoked into thinking that this is reality as it is: a Filipina who wishes to go with the flow of modernity, yet still rooted in the traditions of the true Filipino heritage.
This oil on canvas painting captures the quintessential Filipino spirit of festiveness and camaraderie during occasions from harvest and rice planting seasons to the big town and city fiestas. The Tinikling, known as the national dance of the Filipinos requires great skill in skipping and hopping over two bamboo poles, as shown in this almost youthful style of coloring and overlapping planes, as in the Cubist manner. The warmth and congeniality of the characters portrayed in the painting are even highlighted with the use of the sharp contrasts in color.