Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Since his first exhibition at Big Sky Mind in 2002, artist Rom Villaseran's paintings have been influenced by the landscapes of the fantasy novels he read as a high school student. The visualization of novels such as The Lord of the Rings series have been appropriated by Villaseran through a technique that uses a high-level of minute detail. In the years since that first exhibition, Villaseran's practice has evolved into extensions of that idea, whilst retaining that high-degree of imaginative details within his figurations.

Villaseran's practice has thus distinguished itself from others through the artist's ability to translate these creative landscapes into highly detailed paintings. This is perhaps linked to the artist's experience as a graphics designer throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, creating some of the most haunting album covers in the country for a variety of OPM acts, from indie band Kjwan to alt rockers Wolfgang and Greyhoundz.

80 x 52
Acrylic on Canvas

However, Villaseran's foundation is still his adherance to narrative. Growing up with the stories of Tolkein and Neil Gaiman, Villaseran uses an organic palette hat largely utilizes the literary technique of metaphor. His paintings deal with subjects such as the cycle of decay and rebirth, despair, and the hallucinogenic qualities of dreams. Villaseran uses a neo-surrealist aesthetic approach that manages to create a dream-like ambiance without the resulting haze.

Diptych 84

New works by this ingenious artist will now be displayed in a unique exhibition in Galerie Stephanie in Libis, Quezon City. Entitled Orchestra, the exhibition showcases works from an artist gaining increased recognition throughout the art community.

Galerie Stephanie is located at Unit 1B, Parc Plaza Bldg,183 E.Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Libis, Quezon City. They may be reached through their landline at (632) 709-1488 or email at info@galeriestephanie.com. Please visit their website at www.galeriestephanie.com.

48" x 96"
Acrylic on Canvas

Scattered within Villaseran's oeuvre are details - some glaring, others so fine as to require a magnifying glass - and the resulting cacophony is both lavish and subdued. Credit this, perhaps, to the artist's incredible grasp of technique, which is highlighted by the fact that the artist favors the water-based medium of acrylic. This combination of technique and vision allows Villaseran to explre the "inner world" of hallucinogenic space.

Thoroughly representative of Villaseran's practice is "Raising Heirs," a landscape that resembles a desert that is comprised of jellyfish. At the center of this landscape is a rocky outpost in the shape of a giant seahorse, with foliage growing out of its "mane." It is a haunting painting with fantasy overtures, but within the realm of what can be considered as surreal. The focal point of the painting, the seahorse rock is awash with smaller details that required a highly-developed technique to flesh out. Fortunately, Villaseran's practice is all about how these smaller details fit in a larger work---very similar to how a writer constructs a fantasy novel.

Raising Heirs
48" x 72"
Acrylic on Canvas

With his intensely narrative practice, Rom Villaseran manages to carve out a niche for his neo-surrealist concepts and aesthetics. The University of the Philippines-trained painter is apt to use broad strokes, but paradoxically tempers them with fragile lines and details. His acrylic-on-canvas works show an artist whose narrative leanings have brought him to the forefront of the art scene.

For more details, please call (632) 709-1488 or email at info@galeriestephanie.com.

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