Raymund Legaspi’s “Dreamscape”
Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - April 6, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - It is reasonable to assume that Silayanon artist Raymond Legaspi is a follower of Colombia’s Fernando Botero, given the former’s predilection in rendering stout figures as the base for linear-painting works.

However, to blatantly rivet Legaspi’s oeuvre with that of Botero’s would be grossly unfair, if not just plain uninformed, as there’s more to Legaspi’s works than what are characteristic of “Boterisimo” – a sensibility which, well, like the thematic style of Botero, defies straitlaced classification.

Currently the featured artist of Qube Gallery in The Crossroads, Banilad, Legaspi’s take on the versatile and flexible nuances of the linear painting form is the center of an exhibit that exudes the fine aesthetic points that are elemental in visual art.

Titled “Dreamscape,” and running until April 28, the exhibit is the artist’s first in Cebu, following various solo exhibitions in Metro Manila and Bacolod.

A collection of paintings depicting sleeping women, “Dreamscape” plays with the concept of the “siesta,” not necessarily as a Spanish colonial legacy that has permeated in Philippine culture, but as a reprieve from a time when the devaluation of currency is a norm.

What the women are dreaming about is not exactly what this exhibit points to. Instead, it deals on how the silence of sleep is numbed by the loudness of reality – contextualized by the artist with the “noise” of rich details and backgrounds that are narratives of life in and by themselves.

A graduate of the College of Fine Arts program of the University of Santo Tomas in 1987, Legaspi spent his early post-graduation years as art/creative director of advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson and Arc Worldwide, before focusing on painting full-time in 2006.

Since then, he has earned a following among art lovers of varied ages, by rendering works that bear a translucence that isn’t modeled from after-school confessionals nor clumsy analogies, but tell a story and, simply put, are beautiful to behold. (FREEMAN)  

FERNANDO BOTERO
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