A solo exhibition by Demosthenes Campos.
Periodization in art history, whether dependent on the movement in an era or a fascination with common themes set within a specific epoch, has always marked our way of seeing objects of beauty through the years. Picasso’s blue and rose periods found him painting different spectrums of monochrome matching emotional and troubled images that haunt us to this very day. Plotting the development and documentation of art from ancient civilizations to contemporary production has shown over and over again how artists created innovations along the way, often responding to a previous period with resistance and bringing tendencies, stylings and techniques to the opposite direction with each consecutive movement.
In Filipino artist Demosthenes Campos’ exhibition, however, “Period“ pertains to this particular time that the artist finds himself in while creating, trying to make a living and surviving. Harkening to the past while giving homage to the phases of life and the myriad ways that mark the ebb and flow of cycles, Campos draws strength and inspiration from the genius of artists of earlier generations as he persists in creating his mixed media assemblages in the time of COVID-19. Sagwan expresses stormy seas, but all human beings find themselves in “Iisang Bangka”, sharing the responsibility of synchronized rowing to cross into calmer waters. Time After Time resembles the tiles from a chessboard, where each move has its own slice of time in the game clock and different openings result into varied consequences. Old Fashioned with its bleached wood and pastel colors touches on nostalgia and remembrance. Interval and Span both dwell on impermanence and bridging one phase to the next, serving as pauses and interludes, physically buttressed by wooden slats and string. Heaven and Earth reminds one of an angel’s wings, which signifies perpetual hope amidst hardship and adversity, and faith that there are always better opportunities forthcoming.
As the effects of the global pandemic permeate our lives, it is impossible to ignore the changes they have made to our routines and our very existence. Life and death, sickness and health, suffering and reprieve, all threads loose and tightened are woven into the fabric that blankets the whole world, much like the wood pieces, paint, fibers, string, nails and bolts that keep Campos’ assemblages together. With the artist asserting that what transpires is merely a punctuation and not the end, there lies an invitation to move forward from this one period to the next. About the artist
About the artist
Demosthenes Campos graduated from the Technological University of the Philippines. His fascination with form, texture and the physical characteristics of myriad materials has led him to unexpected explorations in mixed media that dwell on environmental issues, urban landscapes, growth and decay. He has participated in group shows in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, UP Vargas Museum, Ayala Museum’s ArtistSpace and Art Fair PH, emerging as one of his generation’s most prolific abstractionists. A grand prize winner of the Nippon Paint Spray Art Contest in 2000, his works have been cited by other competitions such as third place in the Philippine Association of Printmakers Open Fine Print Competition, finalist in the Instituto Cervantes Letras Y Figuras, and several prizes in the AAP Annual Art Competitions. He also placed second in the 2006 AAP-ECCA Semi-Annual Art Competition, and most recently won an honorable mention from the 15th GSIS National Art Competition 2019.
Words by Kaye O’Yek