September 01, 2019 at 12:20 am
Abstractionist Joy Rojas returns with a new, innovative collection of works in his fourth solo show “Rising Sun,” organized by Galerie Anna and opening on Sept. 2, Monday.
he prolific painter was trained as a lawyer and still pursues a private practice. He has also served in government, notably as Philippine Racing Commission chairman from 2008 to 2011 and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office vice chairman and general manager from 2010 to 2016. As such he is better known under his full professional name, Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II.
A well-traveled bon vivant, Rojas draws upon his journeys abroad for inspiration. His recent travels to Australia, the United States, Cuba, Japan, and other countries provided some of the artistic stimulus that burgeoned into his latest collection. Sunsets, landscapes, human activity—nothing escapes his eye.
His strong religious faith and devotion also find expression in his art.
Yet it is Rojas’ interest in the gentlemanly sport of horseracing that continues to inform his work and provide inspiration, particularly in the naming of his paintings. “Majestic Ruler”, “Silver Story,” and “Sun God” are among the works he has named after Philippine racehorses. The title of his fourth exhibition, “Rising Sun,” was the name of one of his favorite racehorses, and is also the title of his weekly opinion in Business Mirror.
Rojas’ art language is primarily composed of color and texture. Using swathes of iridescent pigment and brightly colored paint, applied thickly and expressively to portray spatial dimension, he conveys narrative, experiences, and message.
Essentially, Rojas, combines creative insights in a natural, spontaneous manner with an intuitive grasp of harmony and form.
Art critic Cid Reyes is all praise for the paintings in Rojas’ fourth solo exhibition. He says: “In these robust and solid works, Rojas once again transforms a surface into an encounter with the infinite varieties of sensation, tension, and languorous mood, dominated by a low-key, greyed-out, monochrome palette and a lavish feast of textures.
“Rojas as an artist is categorized among the minimalists. It is true that his works are spare, reductive, free of clutter and distraction, rejecting the gestural brushstroke, depth, and visual illusion, but they are lean without being arid, austere, or anorexic.
“As if in recompense, Rojas gratifies the viewer with ample energy of execution, conveyed and felt by the viewer as a vitality of expression and the sheer appetite for the palette knife’s application of pigment.”
Reyes also noted Rojas’ experimentation with a different shape for some of his recent works. “Veering away from the square and rectangular format, Rojas seizes the cruciform and converts it into a shaped vessel for spiritual exhortation. He has christened the works “ushpizin,” meaning ‘guests’ in Aramaic…. For Rojas, the choice of the cruciform is an emotive advance to the symbol of Christianity.”
Rojas’ past solo shows have always sold out, and judging by the mastery embodied in his latest works, this occasion will be no exception.
Joy Rojas’ fourth solo show “Rising Sun” opens 6:00 p.m., Sept. 2, 2019, at the A.R.T. Center, 4/F The Artwalk, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City. For artwork inquiries, text or Viber 0915-197-6955 or 0921-506-0078.
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“On the March,” a coffee table book on Jesuit ministry in the Philippines, scored its fourth major award this year—a Philippine Quill under the publications category—adding to its Gold Anvil Award and Platinum Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) and its Gold Quill (Award of Merit) from the prestigious International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
The book’s principal author is Father Jose Arcilla, SJ; its editor, journalist John Nery. It was published by Media Wise Communications, with Manuel Paras Engwa and Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz as co-publishers.
“On the March” chronicles the Jesuits’ ministry of education and the many aspects of their apostolate in the Philippines.
In January this year, Cruz, who is also Media Wise president and CEO, received a Platinum Anvil Award for “On the March.” The award is given to an outstanding entry chosen from among the Anvil Gold winners.
The Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations, awarded to outstanding PR programs, tools and practitioners.
In June, Cruz received a Gold Quill from San Francisco-based IABC at the 2019 IABC World Conference in a ceremony held in Vancouver. Only four other Filipino organizations have received the coveted international recognition.
The IABC awards committee cited “On the March” for “exhibiting high-quality writing and superior production values.”
“The book is well-organized, consistent... from the beginning to end. It flows well. It’s clear that [Mediawise] brought together the right mix of interviewers, writers, designers and publishers to produce a high-quality communication vehicle,” said the committee.
Media Wise Communications publishes coffee table books under its imprint Muse Books. For inquiries, send an email to: [email protected] FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO