The subconscious has a way of stimulating and infusing our history in every action we make, every motion we create. It warrants a certain investigation of reasons that may be hidden even to its author. Relying on our deep-rooted actions allow our intuitive, uncensored gestures to take form and etch our unique markings. In such stillness and silence of markings, lies a motion of unrest, inexplicable movement that makes the markings identifiable and obscure at the same time. Even contrived gestures such as one’s handwriting, drawing, or painting can reveal itself as one’s innate expression of identity.
Trek Valdizno’s Space Dust conjures his artistic odyssey into abstraction of forms; a walkthrough to his ever-resilient obsession to elemental patterns and shapes; and a liberation of sensory imagery that besets his inner consciousness. His engagement to muted colors and totem-like forms are reminiscent of old works during his formative years in Fine Arts. Recurring images hidden in palimpsest of paint, now sets their grand stage in his monumental pieces. Valdizno’s quintessential gestural strokes and frantic scheme of colors are transposed into meditative reflection of his artistic state.
In each piece, viewers can easily perceive a familiar object taking its shaped under the guise of shadows and silhouettes. His biomorphic and geometric figures continuously tease onlookers to disentangle the mystery behind the images. In them, we find semblance of towering chess pieces in their immovable state; intricate forms of ancient sword handles with pommels and grips resolving into ambiguous outlines of either a mosque or temple. For Valdizno, these forms are his personal totems that spontaneously revealed themselves in his ruminating meandering of his artistic vision. He gradually shrouds them in mystery with their background as if soon to be covered with dust.
In Valdizno’s artistic process, movement and meditation coalesce in equal measure. He allows his colossal backgrounds of metallic silver and gold; muted black and earthly color palletes to provide him with the images. Each form is realized like an apparition that gradually discloses the entirety of a message. His unplanned execution of strokes on his canvas showcases his decisive intuition. The figuration of print-like towers showcases his persistence to arrive at symmetrical forms and on a closer look imprints his expressionistic gestures. Removing himself from his usual bold movement and gestural strokes that try to capture fleeting visages of moods, he turns to ambient and pensive actions of repeated motions taking queue from each breath he exhales. This process captures the artist’s meditative and introspective artistic disposition.
The New Paradigm of Love / 2016 (detail)
Valdizno’s seemingly arbitrary designation of titles to his works draws us to the inner working of his mind. In it, he sets a proposition to his viewers, a way of interpreting a piece, a map to his current worldview. His titles, Wonder of Silence and Stop the Glorification of Busy reminds us the essence of withdrawing ourselves from the cacophony of sound and images most notable in the metro. As an artist who spent most of his artistic career around the fast-paced and demanding life in Manila, he retreats to his hometown and relishes the enclosed calmness of the province. His work entitled Leave Your Mind Alone and his series Addicted to Thoughts give us an annotation of his mantra. These pieces are also indicative of the shift in mood and tone as we are presented with more definitive outlines and piercing shapes extruding from the blues and burnt orange pigments. The two massive stretch of canvas in Enlightenment For Lazy People and Everything Is Only An Assumption are impositions both in title and the space they occupy. With their engulfing sizes, the images taunt the spectator to momentarily forget the outside world and recognize the visual delight and serendipity in front of them. The glaring metallic gold tones in his works The Sun Doesn’t Give A Fuck If it Blinds You and You Suffer Bcause You Enjoy It are tactile manifestation of the artist’s awareness of the lure of monetary gains and how we disregard the value of simplicity and tranquility.
At the heart of the exhibition, we are laid out with an enigmatic image in The New Paradigm Of Love. The final piece to complete and encapsulate the symbiotic cluster of images Valdizno orchestrated. At the center, an eye-like outline hypnotizes the viewer and forms a maternal image of a queen, bearing command on the elements around it, as if enthroning itself as the overseer, the source of all inspiration. In it, the outlines are etched with the artist’s own fingernails. In revealing the surface, glorious outlines are defined and the magnanimous piece is realized.
Space Dust is Trek Valdizno’s homage to his artistic roots and an acknowledgment of his current state of mind. His works lead us back to his initial exploration of abstraction and their transformation to perfection. It is where his subconscious becomes conspicuous. •