16 May 2020
For the living imagination of visual artist Marvin Quizon, it has always been the struggle between rationality and passion--a bitter war against maneuvering clichés—ever since he started mixing paints on canvas for seven years now. His third solo exhibition, Interception, culminates with finality what has been evenly fought for in his previous two exhibitions dealing deeply on positive realizations of pain and suffering like flowers emanating from a rubble.
With the extended lockdown looming at large, Quizon’s sense of time resulted in a moment of temporal unity for these binary opposing forces. Against a contemporary art scene of restlessness, churning out paintings after painting in every auction, art fair or biennale that comes along, Quizon offers a pregnant pause of the sublime in these six paintings.
There is something in the midst of Bulacan that transposes a poetic element in Quizon. Even with a short distance from Manila, the allure of the province draws the melancholic and even recluses like him. The vast expanse of the remaining rice fields or sudden change of the season—that misty still unpolluted air while cumulative clouds slowly parade—allows one to find sanctuary and immediately seek contemplation. This lieu seems much more conducive to creative people such as musicians, writers more so hungry young artists.
Quizon visualizes purposely how the mind and heart interchangeably return to their constant engagement in the self-titled Interception--a work on paper with three-dimensional cut outs. With radical and energetic determination, Quizon has roamed freely from that conventional into an internal existence of wonder and fantasy. Using tentacles to symbolize the enticing even teasing flirtations of the consciousness, Quizon philosophically quizzes the viewer how man can surrender to himself, give in to temptation, and ultimately succumb to overthinking in a single arrested development.
We are oftentimes hapless victim of our own faulting that we create our own tentacles that continue to rob us blind leaving us in misery. We are trapped by our own making or even our hands become the very tentacles that wallow us. There are times Quizon gets utterly torn as to what his mind says from what his heart feels although deep within he has already made up his heart. Shown in The Antagonist as it tips the scale for once with the brain overwhelmed by his tempting limbs. The figurative brain forms the subliminal octopus which has the ability to protect, defend, overarching itself to cling on something it focuses itself into.
Although everything exists in the brain our deepest desire, and ultimate longing is what our heart wants. The brain is physical while the heart is your soul. The fictitious tentacles envelope the man even becoming the man himself in Alter Ego making it the closest portrait Quizon can depict the blatant personified quagmire he becomes.
In Discordant Comfort Zone Quizon configures idleness as a solitary enemy. Lounging is a feeling of repose, a vacated sofa lingers comfortably while his creativity is held hostage. Done in raw sepia-finish, one is seemingly invited to jump in the comforting pillow-like palm of a giant.
Everyday reality has been distorted, exaggerated, brought to excess, dressed up and supplanted. Time Intercepted is evident to the mechanical call to order by a clock. In his profound solitude Quizon produces exemplary parallelism in counting an infinity of the little hours while painting in lockdown, he reduces the brain to logical rationality and the heart to its purely visual function. It is necessary to purge thought of all that is not in relation to ideas, ridding it of all the myths with which the senses overlay the truth.
Quizon interprets the uncanniness in surrealist brushstrokes as Nature of Mind and Soul is a masterpiece rendered in a dream-like manner. In what he interprets as an experiment in psychological layering, found at the dead aim center is a man caught in flames signifying he is in a peril state of saturation. The confusion overwhelms him on whether to be rational or hear the pulsating beat of his heart. The resolution remains evident by the where flowers in bloom.
Quizon favors ongoing dialogues of strange objects into a new visual language. These explorations of incongruousness in existence are often highlighted by intricate details and unusual perspectives. Notice the brain and how it is highlighted to represent knowledge. It is inherent that we think what is right for us through where the light leads us. Often he distorts his space using hyperrealism marked by rustic finish and in raw and limited monotone palette often depicting his mood. Quizon is fond of depicting symbols, allegories and odd juxtaposes of objects. The heart is in a dim part but it still glows as it grows. Proof that the heart wants what it wants, it is the soul that benefits. Quizon has even left ample space in the foreground for the viewers to interlude as Quizon opens up the invitation to look intently on the canvas. There is an open clamor as the viewer could even get burned by his fatal indecision.
Compared to his contemporaries, Quizon prefers his slow creative process to be long and arduous. Quizon paints everyday leaving only a day to regain his momentum. He usually does rough sketches and writes his thoughts. He continues with unfinished studies as he conceptualizes further on canvas. Quizon is organic in approach that he usually ends up adding from what his initial studies were. He accepts this as his visual style—a way of surrendering into his subconscious. Sometimes Quizon ends up with a different yet more improved version of his initial studies.
He then proceeds to photograph his references even edits them in his computer as he is well-versed to be. He proceeds to layer his oil paints how the way masters like his influence Rembrandt of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age does it. He finishes off by color glazing much like the way his fellow artists from Bulacan do theirs as well.
Upon careful reflection on his pieces, Quizon subdues his colors to suit his intended emotions. Quizon is an old soul at barely 26 years old, his commitment to his craft and his pursuit for artistic emancipation reflects within his soft-spoken character. In the end, he believes we can love completely without even complete understanding.
- Jay Bautista