Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.






Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From Womb to Tomb

I bought a pair of frames that sat there for months while I was trying to
figure out what to paint that would suit the frames and then my friend Gemma sent me a card and I was immediately inspired and went to work. The card (shown on the left) featured a Madonna and Child painting by Filipino artist Vicente Manansala (1910-1981) who developed the transparent Cubist style, wherein shapes, color tones, atmosphere and figures are masterfully superimposed. This is a popular style for contemporary Filipino painters today. Although, I studied about the Cubism movement as pioneered by Picasso and Braque, my first true appreciation of the cubist style is through the works of a co-student at the UP who was at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture. His name is Glenn Bautista (1947- ). I admired his work very much and used to just stare at his sweeping canvasses that were on display in our Main Library. Glenn and I became friends in the late 60s and he did a small sketch of me, which I treasure.


My second inspiration for the paintings were the works of Giotto di Bondoni (1266-1337), an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages who is widely recognized as the artist who started the Italian Renaissance age. Since I am enamored with religious art. especially those produced by the Italian Medieval and Renaissance artists, when we visited the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in Italy. I was so enthralled and very inspired as I viewed the frescoes painted by Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini and Paolo Lorenzetti. Somehow, I felt a certain connection in this church that I had not felt in the hundreds of other churches we have visited in Europe and other continents. When we returned from the trip, I bought the book Italian Frescoes - The Age of Giotto to learn more about Giotto's work and that of other artists of his time.



I decided on a diptych with a 'From Womb to Tomb' theme - highlighting Jesus' birth and His death. In these paintings, I tried to incorporate the cubist style of Manansala while staying true to the representations of Giotto. In a way, I am heralding the Asian Cubist manner which explores religious themes as opposed to Western Cubism which all but abandoned them. Hope you like these paintings.


From Womb to the Tomb Diptych (in their frames)

From Womb to the Tomb - Nativity
by Jojo Sabalvaro Tan 2011
Watercolor on Paper
11"x11"
From Womb to the Tomb - The Lamentation
by Jojo Sabalvaro Tan 2011
Watercolor on Paper
11"x11"

These paintings are dedicated to my dear friend Nilda Frias Sarmienta who passed away in January 2011. Her untimely death is the third inspiration for these paintings. I miss you, Nilda.

3 comments:

  1. I love them. You should be teaching. You have your own technic and style. Keep them coming. When are you exhibiting your works?

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  2. Thank you, guys.... Someone said I shoukd have an online gallery within my site so folks can look at my work so they can put their dibs in. I have not figured out how that can be done.

    ReplyDelete