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Resuello’s rustic rhapsodies |

Arts and Culture

Resuello’s rustic rhapsodies

SUBLIMINAL - Carlomar Arcangel Daoana - The Philippine Star
Resuelloâs rustic rhapsodies
“Sigaganon Taew” (“The Fleeting Horizon”) shows a night view of the city with its celebrated lights.
STAR / File

Baguio, for one reason or another, appears to be the most suitable staging ground for whirlwind romances, overnight dalliances, and lasting affairs, as depicted in memorable pieces of art, from Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta’s poem, “Flowers Are Not for Picking, Are They?” to Antoinette Jadaone’s film, That Thing Called Tadhana. Kenver Sarmiento Resuello, a physician who is also a practicing visual artist, adds his latest solo exhibition “Ed Baetan na Dalin tan Tawen” to the many works rhapsodizing the magic of the summer city, where countless loves have bloomed (and been doomed).

In the city, Resuello had a relationship that lasted all of two weeks. Despite its brief duration, “It had some weight; the firsts are always the ones that leave deep marks.” The relationship situated him in a strange place where he had to reckon whether he would stay or move on, akin to that strip “between the earth and the sky,” which is the translation of the title. The artist states: “I wanted to convey the feeling and the mental process after someone has left you.”

For his second solo exhibition, “Ed Baetan na Dalin tan Tawen,” Kenver Resuello explores the emotions rooted in a short but memorable relationship set against the backdrop of Baguio.

Opening on Aug. 7 (Sunday) at Pintô Art Museum, “Ed Baetan na Dalin tan Tawen” is Resuello’s visual bildungsroman in which “the landscapes are settings of human events, human relationships.” Paradoxically, the snapshots of scenery in these paintings are bereft of figures. What the viewer sees is a suite of landscapes darkened by indigo shadows, passages of fog, and spectacular cloud formations. It’s as if the artist has long understood that these are liminal spaces to be inhabited temporarily before one proceeds to a final destination. Despite that, they can still offer breathtaking beauty.

While these paintings are not exactly animated by characters, the human presence is palpable. It lies in the thickening passage of impasto, in the various shades of blue of a mellowing sky, in the sharp contours of a mountain range in which pinpricks of light suggest the outskirts of a city. These small, intentional decisions accrue to something that’s not exactly a narrative, but a pitch of emotionalism surfaced by the shifting colors of natural phenomena easily recognized by lovers, travelers, and yes, artists.

It helped that Resuello chose oil as medium, which he describes as “more versatile, more brilliant” than acrylic. Oil also helped him achieve to impress upon the canvas the signature flow of his strokes. “Acrylic was the most convenient thing to use the last time as it dries faster,” he says. “However, I always wanted the painting to have an impasto. Apparently, you can never have the full effect of that with acrylic. Acrylic tends to flatten out versus oil that tends to retain the (impression of the) bristle. This time, I achieved the look I really wanted to have.”


The main difference between “Ed Baetan na Dalin tan Tawen” and his first solo show, “Manempet Ti La” (“Let’s Go Back Home”) is the more pronounced deepening of space, so much so that the sun appears to have been slung back into the recesses of the clouds. Resuello’s manner of illumination appears more dispersed now that taut shadows elongate across the pictorial surface. The works are also larger. “What I discovered was, for some weird reason, I was more comfortable making a large piece than a small piece.”

Their varying sizes notwithstanding, the paintings in this show reveal how geography powerfully shapes memory, which in turn inflects our sense of self and how we choose to navigate the world. Resuello decides to look back in this exhibition not out of nostalgia but from a keen sense that something in the past is instructive and transformative, which now scintillates in his landscapes like Baguio’s celebrated lights.


“Ed Baetan na Dalin tan Tawen” is on view until Aug. 28. Pinto Art Museum is located at 1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City. For inquiries, contact Jenny Villanueva at 0927-764-6270 or

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