The art of Joy
NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Unstoppable is the artist in Joy Rojas. Every day that he goes to his office, where a spacious nook houses his art studio, he is inspired. The inspiration to paint comes all the time; his muse is omnipresent in his mind. In his heart is an explosion of thoughts that he splays on the canvas in all colors imaginable. Joy’s relationship with his muse and his craft is at a fever pitch, scorching as the summer sun, affectionate as a dutiful beau to the maiden of his life. 

For his third solo show (Res Judicata) that opens today at Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City, Joy, former general manager of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, is excited to show to all and sundry his love affair with the visual arts. This love affair started to bloom 10 years ago, he says, “when the Filipino artists and Filipino arts started to rise in the global stage.”  

Oro, Plata, Bronce, 48” x 36”, mixed media.

In Res Judicata, which is both a legal Latin term that means “final decision” and the name of his champion racehorse, Joy proves that his artwork is “a final expression of my abstract imagination.”

Blessed with fertile imagination — so abundant that he has a revolution of a thousand and one imaginings any time that he sits down or stands up to paint in his studio — Joy interprets his views of the world or the current state of his heart and mind on his canvas. What the trident is to Poseidon, the paintbrush is to Joy Rojas. With the paintbrush, he magically transforms his beautiful experiences of his travels with his loving wife Trisha Bunye-Rojas into abstract art.

(From left) Summer Colors at the French Riviera, Cherry Blossom, Winter Dreams and Autumn at La Salle.

For instance, his artwork titled Cherry Blossom (48”x18”, mixed media) is an ode to his stunning remembrances of the different cities he has visited in Japan with Trisha, who is also a lawyer like him. The patina of those experiences becomes stark and bold in Joy’s renderings and the spectator of his art is left reminiscing his own wanderlust as he gets lost in a canvas splayed with a patch of red swimming in a seemingly endless colors of metallic blue and velvety purple.

That the artist has a grateful heart is evident in Autumn at La Salle (48”x18”, mixed media). Abundant and verdant, the artwork is palpably a sonnet on canvas for Joy’s alma mater, La Salle. (Joy finished his grade school and high school in La Salle. He graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts with a double degree in Economics and International Relations. He went further to study Law at the Ateneo de Manila University. Estate planning and corporate/real estate transactions are his expertise as a lawyer.)

(Time After Time 8, a four-panel mixed media artwork, 60” x 18”.

A personal favorite of mine is Winter Dreams (48”x18”, mixed media) because of its seeming subversive semiotics. In this artwork I see signs and symbols of revolt, an uprising of sorts that probably lounges in the artist’s head. Black and white in a tug-o-war. Then quick splashes of red. Winter Dreams is chaotic in one instance, and peaceful the next.

Passive and placid is the Summer Colors at the French Riviera (48”x18”, mixed media). In muted rose tinge and giddy gold, it plays to the idyllic, even soft side of Joy. He displays his dexterity and elegance in this artwork. His genteel nature is written in the lines on the canvas. A languid, unhurried life is felt in every stroke.

Massive and imposing is an artwork titled Taipan 10 (60”x48”, mixed media) in charcoal gray and pitch black. The ruled and the ruling class are in the details. Look closer and you will see them.

Aside from his 12 paintings and few crosses for Res Judicata show, Joy, a member of the formidable Saturday Group, is also exhibiting some panels in mixed media. The panels are conversation pieces. One panel interprets childhood dream and the progression of this ambition is seen at the end of the panel. Or a hero’s aspirations for his country is shown at the beginning of another panel and a storyboard of sorts is presented only to find out that at the end panel the goals are not yet met.  Each panel done in mixed media has a mirror at the back that makes it a functional divider at home.

The art of Joy is an abstract manifestation of what his heart and soul can offer. It is also a concrete exhibition of his love affair with his craft.

(Res Judicata runs until April 30 at Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City.)

(For your new beginnings, e-mail me at bumbaki@yahoo.com. I’m also on Instagram @bumtenorio. Have a blessed Sunday!)

JOY ROJAS
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