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Lecaroz exhibit pays homage to Amorsolo

Artworks of Celeste Lecaroz*

Visual artist Celeste Lecaroz is mounting a repeat of her successful 2021 exhibit paying homage to national artist Fernando Amorsolo in “Repetitio: Bacolod”.

To be presented by Charlie’s Art Gallery, Lecaroz’s works will be on display at Italia Restaurant in Bacolod City beginning May 4. The exhibition runs for a month and marks Lecaroz’s eighth one-woman show since 2018.

“Repetitio: Bacolod” features derivative paintings of Amorsolo that Lecaroz rendered in spontaneous realism. She describes the collection of 15 paintings as experimentations on chromostereopsis (“visual illusions whereby depth is depicted in two-dimensional color images”).

Lecaroz’s paintings are officially licensed by the Fernando C. Amorsolo Art Foundation and are derived from official copies of Amorsolo paintings cataloged in the books published by the foundation.

Sylvia Amorsolo Lazo, daughter of the national artist and president of the foundation, granted the license agreement to Lecaroz herself at a contract signing held in March 2021.

Lazo, who is also a painter, says that there is much to appreciate in the art of Lecaroz. “Even before she requested legal permission from the foundation, had already seen her various beautiful works in pastel and acrylic depicting her own style. I could see her as an artist with potential and passion.”

Looking at Lecaroz’s repetitio, Lazo recalls her father’s words.

Lazo shares, “Papa once said, ‘Work on your God-given gift and share your talent with others. Day to day application of talent immortalizes our beautiful world.’ Ces did so and found her identity with her mixed brushstrokes…”

In the essay that accompanies the original “Repetitio” exhibit, art and literary advocate Prof. Danton Remoto writes that Lecaroz does more than a repetition of Fernando Amorsolo’s brilliant rural scenes. “She does repeat them, but she also reimagines Amorsolo’s illuminated landscape. She pays homage… but she turned the colors several notches lower.” Remoto, author of the acclaimed novel Riverrun published by Penguin Random House, says that Lecaroz’s latest artworks are both vibrant and profound. “She gives us omens and forebodings about progress and its discontents. Her palette is full of vivid colors and her paintings have many stories to tell.”

John Alexis Balaguer, award-winning art critic, summarized his review of the first “Repetitio” as follows, “While Lecaroz’s Repetitio might appear to simply derive from the visual elements of Amorsolo’s oeuvre for her formal reinterpretations, the exhibition might be seen as an opportune reminder of the sincere efforts and intentions artists make behind their formal creations.”

“Could it be that behind the formal replication and technical reworking, the essence is also repeated? Amorsolo’s smiling maidens and hopeful countryfolk may yet live in Lecaroz’s acts of remembrance, though they appear entirely different today, as hints of hope in these trying times. Repetition then becomes commendation and continuity, and in this way, one might find the artist’s light.”

More information on the exhibit can be found by emailing info@charliesartgallery.com. *

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