I was going to work my way backwards, but then I figured that it might be better to just post this first, since the other shows I have photos of in my back log are over already anyway. Makes little difference if I post this up first!
On November 15, three solo shows opened at Blanc: Allan Balisi’s Possible Landing, Charles Buenconsejo’s The Way Up and the Way Down, and my brother, Luis Santos’ Momentary Lapses. We flew back in from Seoul at about 1am the same day, but I wasn’t going to miss this!
All the shows are on display until 6 December 2014. The photos here were taken by me or Sarie on her tiny camera, which is so nice that I want one for myself. (It’s a Sony RX100, in case you were wondering.)
Allan Balisi’s Possible Landing
Allan Balisi’s Possible Landing combines his paintings with long tables filled with little images, partially erased with presumably the same white material that represents the blankness in his paintings. I love Allan’s style and the inclusion of these little pieces on the table really made the show whole to me. In some of the paintings, there are spaces of white that look like they could be vessels of images, and my obvious expectation was to see those images on the table instead. But, I was met instead with even more stretches of white—an undoing, an erasing, instead of a continuation.
Charles Buenconsejo’s The Way Up and the Way Down
There’s something really distinct about Charles Buenconsejo’s work, in that you can tell it’s his. You know those people who just have this really individual perspective. For the longest time, some of my friends and I wondered about what constituted as “video art.” The medium feels so close to mass media, that we felt like it’s kind of hard to create parameters for it, I guess. Anyway, The Way Up and the Way Down features two films playing simultaneously of Buenconsejo’s condominium rooftop, on which plates and wares are broken, synced to a video of the actual installation, where there was a lot of breakage, too. It’s a stunning work, in a can’t-quite-place-my-feelings kind of way. Here’s an excerpt of a piece on Buenconsejo by Alice Sarmiento for Arts+.
Luis Antonio Santos’ Momentary Lapses
OK, so first: Luis is my brother. It is natural to have a personal bias towards his work, though I can promise you that even if we weren’t so closely related, I would still admire what he’s created so far. In Momentary Lapses, he explores the aesthetics of glitches more, both in scenic distortions rendered in paint, as well as mixed media pieces, some backlit by fluorescent bulbs. My brother and I rarely talk about work, a territory we all so shyly cross, but it feels like a little blessing for me when I witness his process and when I see the fragments of his work that I see, piece by piece, come together in the way he meant them to look like.
Like I said, all of these shows are up on display at Blanc Gallery until December 6, 2014.
The more I am engaged in the art world, the more I’m inclined to think that I don’t understand it. For a while, I let photographs speak for themselves, a little scared that of misinterpreting the artists’ intentions behind their show. I didn’t realize then that writing about art helps me make sense of what I’m seeing, which to me is worth more than the possibility of embarrassing myself with a misinterpretation. If I’m wrong or off the mark, it’s fine. It’s all part of the learning process anyway, and I still have a lot of things to discover.