I am expectant of what God will do as my fifth solo exhibit, “Dance With My Muse” will open on Sept. 2, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. This show is presented by the Prism Gallery at Salcedo Street corner Benavides Street, Legaspi Village, Makati. This is my victory after I sought for a reputable venue in the national scene which can present my artistic creations. Thank God, I successfully competed as a provincial artist from Bohol amid a tough competition of talents in Metro Manila.
Allow me to share this exhibit’s artist statement which I penned:
The Muses are goddesses of Greek pantheon who personify the visual arts, music, literary arts and science. Among artists, it is believed that the Muses inspire the creation of prodigious works. To “carry the mousa”, according to the Greek lyric poet, Pindar, “is to excel in the arts”. Any artist will often search for inspiration which William Shakespeare invoked: “O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend/The brightest heaven of invention.”
Lucell Larawan continuously seeks this heaven of innovation for his oeuvres. As the artist capitalizes on inspiration, he prays not to mythical characters. He entreats for divine unction for the arts based on the Biblical premise. His reference is how Bezalel, son of Uri, acquired skills, ability and knowledge in all kinds of artistic designs through God’s filling of His Spirit (Exodus 31: 1-11) in order to create the ark of the Testimony, the gold lampstand and other required elements of the Old Testament worship. Being a co-creator of a better world with his artistic calling, the artist believes that the anointing can flow in his life if he deliberately pursues it with diligence.
In his 19 years of artistic journey, the limner-sculptor does not just wait for inspiration to come in order to limn or sculpt. He chases the Spirit or “Muse” in his relentless effort to grow. Even while working as a full-time mentor, the artist still managed to launch three of his four solo shows—a commitment that would be almost impossible for one with a 27-unit load. But somehow, his teaching job did not make a dent in his energy and passion.
The artist knows discipline in studio production because he agrees with Steven Pressfield’s statement: “This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabes… don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
In art making, Larawan’s style evolved from the neo-pointillist approach to a hybrid that—unknown to him, at first– shares an affinity with African or Austronesian tribal folk art albeit overflowing with Filipino flavor. The limner playfully uses colors, textures and shapes in a configuration evoking an intrinsic or native horror vacui sensibility. Larawan cherishes most the works of Yayoi Kusama and Vincent Van Gogh.
In this exhibit, Larawan’s diverse ideation concerns are held together by his personal visions and environmental themes. In his church paintings and “Nail Them” series, he highlights values that are worth nurturing. Having stayed in Iloilo and Bohol, he considers these provinces’ old architectures as emblems of faith by which Filipinos find their resilience, ability to find hope in difficult circumstances and fulfill the saying, “the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32)”. His marble and nail sculptures with verse references are poetic renditions of giving or surrendering our sorrows because God’s love will see us through even as we do not pray in vain.
“Cainggit Beach” series and “Duo at the Backyard” spring from the limner’s cherished memories of childhood. The artist used to swim at the beach to wash away his boredom; now, it becomes his treasured site in his milieu, although there are “better” beaches around. The artist was close to chickens at his grandparents’ home, albeit he did not gamble with the cocks. His playfulness could not be satiated without these chickens’ involvement.
“Blossoms of Transition” series are Larawan’s revision of his past floral subject—this time becoming reminders of his fruitfulness in transitioning from full-time employment into an art career.
In this solo show, the limner-sculptor invites everyone to dance with the Muse.
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