Jose Johann Bitancor
4th Solo Exhibition
How do we define commune? Is it a spiritual quest, a shared ethos, an antidote to chaos or just a random word to describe or label people living on the fringe?
It might be that the artist is referring to all or none of the above. Commune is just a word to name a malady, a grand inconsistency that denotes exclusivity/ inclusivity, powerlessness/privilege and otherness.
For this exhibition, the artist takes his cue from Architecture and its promise of habitable space and aesthetic value. While it stands as a hallmark of success in modern day living, its absence (or presence in the form of makeshift detritus that shelters the indigents) elucidates a social contradiction far beyond the realm of Architecture itself. As an artist, Bitancor could only engage and articulate further (albeit in an abstract manner) by way of referencing and parallelism. Architectural qualities pervade in his paintings as he mimics textures of concrete cement and planar juxtapositions. Interior and exterior spaces were achieved through varying degrees of paint's transparency and opacity. His underlying colors of dark tones beneath swathes of collaged shapes of assorted materials represent dirt and grime, the life of squalor. On top of these, blotches of luminous, iridescent colors compete and dominate the picture plane, as if vying for a role that is redemptive. What is readily apparent is Bitancor's device to supersede established grounds or notions.
He violates them unapologetically if only to assert his definition of harmony.
As with other abstract painters, he works intuitively and as such does not assign his mark-making any conscious role. It is only empathy that fuels his "will to form".