Monday, February 09, 2015

Known for his early colorful genre-style paintings with highly textured etched-on-wet paint details and half-revealed, half-hidden faces, Francis Nacion Jr. has gained quite a following that saw him through his evolution as a painter since he broke into the scene nine years ago.

It did help that his works were full of color and quite pleasing to the eye. In fact, his works have been used by a popular greeting card brand, and one work featured in the Christmas collectible edition of a household boxed table paper napkin brand. “I always wanted my works to bring people smiles. I want my legacy to be that of happiness.”

It was a big surprise then in 2012 that he started painting in very neutral colors, with a subject matter that was quite unlike what he used to do. Exchanging his brilliant magentas, sky blues, and greens for ochre, olive green and shades of brown, he forayed into the subject matter of the unseen and unknown.

Bouyed by the response to his earnest search for authenticity in his painting practice, Nacion has ventured into the unknown, launching four other solo exhibits with the theme. Each of his solo shows featured new techniques, sure signs of his deepening practice in art, while keeping his supporters excited on what he will feature next. “I don’t really think that I have to change. It just happens. I am still aware that maybe one day, people might not want what they see. But I have to stay true to my art. I am showing works that are quite different from what they might think of when they see a Nacion.”

The new works he speaks of are quite a break away from his established style. Making use of cloth and thread, overlaid on paint, they make his works even more tactile and almost three dimensional. “My mother used to sew a lot. When I used cloth, I remember her.”

Done in layers, his new works show an X-ray like view of the world, where the unseen is revealed. A deeply spiritual person, he believes that the world we are in is not just the physical world we see, but is overlaid with a spiritual world populated by angels and other spiritual beings. His other works show women with animals which he says illustrate the metamorphosis of spirit. “In our folktales, we hear of nature spirits showing themselves as engkantadas who are capable of becoming animals, depending on the situation. I suppose that was how our ancestors described their intimacy with nature. However, these days, we seem to have distanced ourselves from nature. We’ve cut too many trees and used too many natural resources. There is an imbalance. In one of my works, I am showing one on a boat, with a nest of birds on her head. They are looking for place to go. I hope to bring awareness of these things in my work.”

“ImaheNacion,” Francis Nacion Jr.’s 7th solo exhibit open on February 10, 2015, 6 pm., at Galerie Stephanie, Unit 1B Parc Plaza Bldg., Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave. in Libis, Quezon City, Philippines.

For inquiries, call Donald at 709-1488. Galerie Stephanie is open daily from 1 to 8 pm.

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