THE MONTH OF MAY: FLEURS, FLORES, FLOWERS
THE month of May is
associated with summer, fiestas, and
bright flowers in bloom.
Summer optimism and hopefulness is
festooned in a kaleidoscope of radiant
colors–with many wonderful memories of
Flores de Mayo festivals, santacruzan
processions, and of course, the radiance
of flowers. The blooming summer flowers,
in particular, has inspired generations
of artists to capture the warmth and
cheerfulness of summer.
In this light, Presidential Medal of Merit Awardee Juvenal Sanso, fresh of the critical success of his Moderno series of works, has been inspired to go back to basics, returning to the floral compositions that critics such as Rod. Paras-Perez and Alfredo Roces consistently point to as his as among his most elegant and significant creations.
Sanso’s vision of the floral still-lifes is brilliantly surreal, hauntingly gorgeous, and unlike anything else before it. Sanso’s floral series can trace its genesis to the artist’s renowned Black Period during the 1950s.
Sanso used floral still-lifes as a way to excise the demons culled from his traumatic experiences of the Japanese Occupation of Manila during World War 2.
The resulting works are high-quality grotesqueries, with monochrome works depicting bouquets of grimacing human heads. As Sanso learned to deal with the pain and suffering of war, these paintings eventually evolved–first through the introduction of brighter colors to what was once a monochromatic palette, then next his move from ‘figuration,’ i.e. grimacing faces, to ‘representational,’ such as the surreal ‘floating’ flowers we are now most familiar with.
Sanso himself credits his conversation with an art teacher in Paris, Edouard Goerg, with the way he engages the floral still-life: “Professor Goerg must have felt my transformation, for one day, he said that I did my dramatic subject very well (coincidentally his type of work was very much like my expressionistic depictions), but he requested me to do a flower. Seeing my negative frown, he said: “do it your own way; I wish to see the other side of you.”
Since the mid-fifties, I have not stopped doing flowers!”
Spanish Descent Painter - Juvenal Sanso most of his paintings is about Filipinos. This is the true meaning of being a Filipino you put it in your heart and it's not about just the Physical similarities..