A Tradition in Philippine Print Media
The twelve art works of Alfredo Roces for this collection were done in oil canvass with the aid of a palette knife.
In his creation of masterpieces as such Mr. Roces describes his approach to painting as his way of conversing with the viewers. He further says that, "the viewer has to get involved and has to put in something to make it all work. There is the artist (myself) the painting, and the viewer: (all three must come together to cause a flash of memory)". What Mr. Roces would like to achieve is interaction between his ideas depicted through his paintings and the viewers. According to him, "I try to open windows for the viewer's imagination, rather than create specific symbols and meanings. The enigmas are created for the viewer to apply his/her subconsious illusions and feelings. For example the salmon heads and a knife could invite many stories in a viewer's mind, and that is a chance for the viewer's imagination to contribute to the artist's own work".
Describing his experiences in the beginning he narrates, "I started with each one by doing a very quick impression of an item from the fish shop, (a salmon head, some prawns, octopus, garfish, etc.) The fish spoils quickly so I work frantically at the most an hour before these "still life models" vanish into the kitchen for my wife Irene to cook for dinner. I then work on each painting from memory, without the objects in front of me, to concentrate on the technical and aesthetic perspective, and to create the final painting, preserving as much as possible the feelings and the freshness of the moment".
Technically, he applied different styles he acquired from various inspirations. He acknowledged the Chinese and Japanese ink brush painting as his sources in his application of gestures and negative space. He also used ideas from the French Impressionists in terms of the use of color. Finally, he recognized action painters and abstract artists as his guide when it comes to formal organization of space.
*From email dated March 18, 2002
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