Closing the Gap

Martin Honasan

November 05 - 26, 2022

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Press Release

CLOSING THE GAP

A series of portraits exploring the mysteries and wonders of life is at the center of Martin Honasan’s latest solo exhibition, “Closing the Gap.” Here, the artist investigates meanings through the process of deconstruction, which involves events that test the durability of the material and medium. The method is symbolic of rebuilding and reconstructing images, concepts, and ideas. Honasan employs damage-based modes of production and arranges works that are somewhat weathered, beaten, and distressed, using the physical language of painting to assembling portraits. In doing so, he sees his work as an effect of how he wrestles with ideas. Similar to the actions done to the work, these ideas are tested out again and again until they form something more concrete that represents the abstract.

The transformed condition of the canvas is apparent among the large paintings one may find in the exhibition. The work “Love” references another artist, and the verse “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” from the book of Matthew. These two canvases are joined but are separated from the mouth while the subject has an “A” tattooed on his left cheek, which is linked to his relationship with his father. The symbols attached to the work somewhat allow the demystification and revelation of the influences of the pictured subject. Meanwhile, another work, “Faith of the Ancients,” is based on the artist’s better half and the verse “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” from Hebrews 11:1. The work is a diptych, which is separated at the eyes of the portrait. Perhaps, a testament that faith lies in between partly hidden junctures but remains present.

In his practice, Honasan often reflects on philosophical and existential questions through art. However, these ponderings do not necessarily end in a resolution and offer a sustained, visceral catharsis. He sees these inquiries as spontaneous mysteries like prophetic utterances directed to the future. Hence, the works in this exhibition are meditations on proximities and gaps--- voids that exist between the artist and the mysteries that he embraces and has yet to comprehend fully; spaces and fragmented areas exist within the artist and his relationships. The ensemble highlights portraits of people who are somewhat close to him. Hence, the usual technical steps that Honasan applies in image-making suddenly become obsolete as he begins to intuitively draw the contour and render the physical features of the sitter, who is either a friend or a relative. Thus, it is as if their characters practically pour out from Honasan’s hand, free from any baggage. As such, these portraits send us an insight into what we must make of mysteries: a deeper level of faith, unexplained but felt through those we deeply love and care about.

-Gwen Bautista

Martin Honasan

Martin Honasan is a Philippines-based artist who works with collage, acrylic, and various water-based media. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a major in Psychology and Communication Arts clusters.

Prior to pursuing a full-time career as a visual artist, Martin worked as an Art Director in an advertising firm. He has done several individual and group exhibitions in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the U.S.A., and France. In 2016, Martin participated in an artist residency program in Osaka, Japan where his completed works were exhibited at the YOD Gallery. He was recently part of the 8th edition of Asia Now Paris with Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.

For his upcoming exhibit– Titled: Closing the Gap, A series of portraits exploring the mysteries and wonders of life is at the center of his works. In his practice, Honasan often reflects on philosophical and existential questions through art. However, these ponderings do not necessarily end in a resolution and offer a sustained, visceral catharsis.

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