AN ARTIST’S LENTEN REFLECTIONS
By Alice G. Guillermo
In the coming Lenten season, Artist Demetrio Dela Cruz finds it time again to reflect on yhe meanings of Lent and how they impact on the Filipino Museum-goer and lover of art. The Pinto Museum under Dr. Joven Cuanang in Grand Heights Subdivision in Antipolo City hosts this exhibit opening on March 29 this month and continuing through April 23.
His present show at Pinto Gallery, Entitled “ Offering “ demonstrates fresh burst of artistic vigor inspired by the Lenten season, memorable to all Filipinos. But unlike most artists who convey their message only through two dimensional painting in oil or acrylic, Demetrio adds another new and distinguishing element: that of three-dimensionality.
Now this factor is important, indeed, because the secret of art is the ability to invent, use, and explore medium, not only for itself, but most of all, to convey meaning. Indeed, medium and meaning have a basic relationship which can be quite complex and challenging. And while the artist may have a body of spiritual meaning or meanings in his mind, he needs to explore and choose the medium to best convey this complex of meanings. And, as in the case of Demetrio Dela Cruz, he invents the medium or media, with which to best communicate his set of ideas. It is this aspect which sets Demetrio above the rest. For the artist, Lent is mostly a season of reflection. But reflection can have many meanings. It can be an inner spiritual activity of contemplating life and the world. Visually, it can involve the use of mirrors as in double images, and here it is to derive multiple images of a figure or a scene in order to obtain a rich, multidimensional vision which surpasses a simple view. And this is what Dela Cruz achieves in his combination of new materials in multimedia. His Fourteen works for the show are not plain paintings in oil or acrylic but are a combination of oil paint and mixed media on transparent sheets. He uses oil paint but applies it on transparent Flexiglass sheets of five layers which have a way of oscillating with the light, adding a sense of movement, as well as enhancing colors which all together lend an illusion of precious layering.
This clearly suits his subject because Lent is itself a multidimensional religious experience as it is known to Filipinos. In these works, the images and the details which constitute them create a complex weave of lines and hues, inviting the eye to move over the work as on an unusual, breathing tissue of pain, suffering and hope. To all this, the artist adds one more element: the wooden frames and wood carvings, recalling the traditional frames of the nineteenth century, but now bordering a new art work bringing out the brilliant effects of new media in unusual and inventitive combinations. This new show of Demetrio Dela Cruz does advance the Filipino’s artistic, as well as spiritual, experience-one can call is a “ eureka exhibit “ and it is well worth a visit to the museum.
Pinto Art Museum
29 March - 14 April 2015
1 Sierra Madre St.
Grand Heights Rd