BY JAY BAUTISTA |
Unselfish as the artist he is Ramos is fond of creative accolades here and there. In Under Red Umbrella pays tribute to a dear friend, musician and great mother. An influence in his decision to be a full-time artist, her demise may have left a void but Ramos imbibed her spirit to go forward and reach his potential. Of course umbrella means love, memories and teachings that cannot be erased.
Faith often comes in the most abstract of expressions and artists like Fernando Ramos have turnaround something out of the ordinary even bordering on the transcendental they only know how—paint them. In his first solo exhibition, Contemplating Ethereal Existence Ramos honors God foremost in his composed yet grand solitary manner.
His materiality dictates whatever mood Ramos is in depending on what he perceives as that transcending value of God’s immeasurable love for humanity should be. Ramos believes artists were blessed with talents as they have a responsibility to perform in society. Eschewing texture he uses palette knife and rodela enabling every stroke as different like the different days where Ramos worked on his pieces. These pieces appear to be more durable, almost rendered in a dream that only Ramos can comprehend their symbolical meanings.
Representing valor in whatever dignified existence life has to offer, Standing Still series beckons to inspire and even encourages persistence in the hope for better things. In a heavy mix of earth-tone hues, Ramos proposes that man who chooses God will always be standing still even if failures and apathy seeps in.
His journey not only as an artist but as a believer is most evident in Sojourn. Reaching the highest altitude of his existence, being he is able to meditate in a wonderful world, the flight of a dreamer in him. The future is still unclear, unimaginable and vague to comprehend but the greatest gift for us is the promise of tomorrow. Sojourn comes with a emanating purpose on this thesis.
Starting with a study or a just a sketch Ramos builds up rhythm like a seasoned jazz player, he improvises yet digs in deeper, straining his modeling paste-in-sand combination. He then fixes silver or gold adding glow to the under paint most likely after he stains the metal layer of his composition.
Whether he renders realist strokes or veers into abstraction transparency of forms and solidity of shapes define the quintessential Ramos. Often employing rhythm and harmony in texture his dimensions draws a thin line in between softness and harshness of rendition yet they carefully controlled and it varies in a certain points to another simply not because they are nice to look at but because they are conceived to do so.
|Scent From A Dream 2|
Contemplating Vertical Horizons is how the promise giver is the promise keeper. Always offering a good day God forgives and guides us through His unending and infinite creation. With the daily rigors He brings us back to the light into our battered and stained spirit at his own dedicated time.
With Ramos piece there is never a dull rendition. He meticulously solidifies everything by finishing dust-like coarseness adding a silver leaf and gold leaf here and there. The aesthetics is in the swirl, some from various tin cans, some using masking tapes for loss to take over. Swirling lines storms of life, square is God for always being there.
His paintings are also sensuous variations of collective narratives, memories and dreams. The fascination in metal-like ground and surface in his works is evident, rusted and stained in time. It is metaphorical depiction of this world we live in is paralleled to a slowly decaying, human body that is deteriorating and will turn back into nature’s dust--our ashes.
Ramos moves freely inside the painting as he probes his inner self and explore contours and variations of colors, paraphrasing the world and beyond in less fanciful embellishment or distortion. His thoughts and feelings as an artist are astounded in each of more than a dozen canvases.
On can almost smell his coloration in Scent Recalled From a Dream series which are actually landscapes dwelling intuitively into his subconscious mind. His composition of colors range from cool to earthy hues, these are vivid projections of his dreams and aspirations.
Not everything is raw and melancholic The Day After the Storm conveys positive vibrations as trials and challenges that make him more human. Like gold that gone through fire to be able see its real shine.
A wise painter that he is, Ramos knows how to rest and recuperate. Resting Ground is a favorite place quiet and serene place a mountain peak repent, pray and meditate his intoxicated body. A habit he often does, he escapes from the humdrum of his material world, he solitary dwells at a mountain’s peak, communing with his God who is more than enough.
|The Day After the Storm|
Vista is tribute to Tatang, his mom’s husband. A lawyer writer and man of faith He treated him like a son too. His regular conversations with him were with a purpose, most specially those pertaining to Mount Zion which is biblical definition of heaven, respite for good souls and spirit.
Blue serenade series are Ramos’ most personal paintings in this exhibition. Starting in 2013 being in love with music, remembering the good old days and time gone by. Destiny fate, remembering what God has promised transcending upon him.
Abstraction in the Philippines has of late taken a back seat given the current art scene’s current infatuation with hyperrealism, auction-bound, emo-ridden parlance. Ramos reclaims whatever is lacking in aesthetics and maybem whatever is left in our poor battered souls.
Fearful of his faith and fate, Ramos ponders in each of these pieces as God has healed and honed him further. He has able him to paint some more in whatever life has to offer. With his hands outstretched in surrender, in these paintings he has emerged healed and unscathed.
About the Artist
Fernando Ramos Jr is an award-wining visual artist. A graduate of Tarlac State University, he has won in ArtPetron National Student Art Competion, Maningning Miclat Art Awards, and the GSIS National Painting Competition. Ongoing at the Art Galileia Contemplating Ethereal Existence is his first solo exhibition.