Janos Delacruz’s Pagibig at Lumbay is a collection of artworks that tackles a journey of adoration and unrequited love between an artist and his muse amidst the reality of a pandemic.
Although Delacruz’s icons do not revolve around a particular key image or subject, each artwork is intended to be viewed as a chapter illustration of an unwritten novel (a self-contained short story in an ongoing narrative).
The public is invited to explore the machination and inner musings of the artist as he travails from one diatribe to another. The paintings, sculptures, drawings, and fine print in the exhibition are used as vehicles to capture the frantic search for both meaning and creation. Our eyes are invited to matriculate the etched linear and spiral patterns as if we’re looking at striations of exposed musculature under a microscope. The viewer is asked to participate and self-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 of a surreal idea from an incomplete dream to a fully rendered work on paper. As he transforms his work from one medium to another, the artworks will also evolve (affected by limitations or advantages of the material but also the temperament of the creator).
Although most of the artworks are rendered in black and white in this art exhibition. Delacruz has always been fascinated by the art of printmaking and considers printmaking as his first love. Inspired by illustrated medieval manuscripts, the artist left the impurities in the plate and hand colored his etching fine prints. By doing so, he hopes to capture “individuality in the face of uniformity”.
In his sculpture entitled Kuya Daks (Big Brother) – daks is an LGBT lingo coming from the Ilonggo word dako which means big – the artist tells the story of a man in his most fragile state – removing the “smiling mask” that he showcases in society. The artwork is a commentary on hiding your beliefs and true self as we try to conform to social pressure, norms, and biases. It 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.
Curated by Ian Belleza, Pag-ibig at Lumbay was on view at Art Lounge Manila: Podium from August 2 to 16.