Ruminations on Growth and Identities: What We Are

As repertoires of elements clashing and thriving in a single space, each piece in this humble display is an impression of chaos and harmony, a depiction of the reality of human connections.

For their first joint exhibit, contemporary abstract artists August and Pauline give us a glimpse of their atypical process.

Photos by Mono8 Gallery

Ever since I started venturing in the world of art, one of the things I came to admire most about artists is their ability to capture diverse angles of life, and in a glimpse, establish a link with audiences whose lives are likewise mirrored by their craft. The same admiration echoes exceptionally true for abstractionist duo August Lyle Espino and Pauline Reynolds.

 My first encounter with the two happened during their very first back-to-back exhibits — “Sirkopath” and “Underfoot” at the Mono8 Gallery. Stepping into their displays of creativity was a dreamy experience in itself. August’s “Sirkopath” received onlookers with psychedelic splashes of color and bizarre illusions of humans, animals, and objects, reminiscent of the spectacle of a circus; funky, lively, yet unsettling. In utter contrast, Pauline’s “Underfoot”, situated at the innermost area of the gallery, was a place of solace, shrouding you with inner peace as you rest your eyes upon an intricate display of condemned, wasted, and decrepit materials, adorned with burns and tears, finding their place in the corners and crevices of a menial canvas. Both exhibits, albeit remarkably different, complimented each other as depictions of modern life — refined and sophisticated, yet manic and primitive.

Photos by Mono8 Gallery

Moving forward, they decided to merge their artistic voices, resulting in the concept and theme of their sophomore effort, What We Are.

Madness in Technicolor – August Lyle Espino

August’s approach in art is eclectic and multi-disciplinary. He employs facets of filmmaking, as well as the strategic use of color in conveying meaning into his works. He explains that his process in creating pieces is similar to that of writing a script. He stares at a blank canvas, maps its story in his head, and stamps it on; painting layers upon layers of visuals, each with its own unique course, and leading everything to a conclusion which remains a mystery until the final stroke of the brush.  When asked what marks the end of each piece, he explains that there is none. Each work completes itself, and he simply ends when he deems it done.

Deranged, non-linear, and ever-branching — his art mirrors the process of growth. He believes that every individual is a culmination of the humans, animals, and objects that crossed its path. All the beings it met and will meet, all the situations it adapted and will adapt from, will ultimately cause it to morph into an amalgamation of a greater scale. No matter how beautiful, no matter how hideous the outcome may be, the process will lead an individual to rise beyond itself, to outgrow its old shell, to recover and rediscover itself anew.

Beauty Inherent in Ruin: Pauline Reynolds

In her early days as an artist, Pauline primarily focused on painting and sketching, incorporating a greater deal of realism onto her works. Only recently did she start venturing off to mixed media, after realizing that this art form allowed her to be more raw, visceral, and free. She explains that her process involves deep introspection and grounding. In the studio, she surrounds herself with found objects, figures and details ripped from vintage magazines, and decrepit pieces of wood, tiles, and debris, all of which she personally sought and hand-picked. She then layers and positions each piece intricately, in a manner where the existence of one accentuates the other.

A union of discarded materials and mementos, of mere fragments of what once was — Pauline’s works mirror the process of change. She explains that she sees each of her pieces as an altar, an ode to the passage of time. She creates with a deep sentimentality that emanates through every detail of every unlikely sculpture she creates, and the way she sees beauty in even the most mundane of objects makes anyone re-think the worth of even the most ruined and broken of things, even of themselves.

What We Are

In their most recent feat, August and Pauline were challenged to rediscover the layers and dynamics of their own lives, and to visually present the identities they’ve formed at this point in time. WHAT WE ARE is an exploration of these identities. It illustrates how every person is an outcome of their circumstances, and how the perpetual cycle of events in our lives confine us in a state of constant growth and change.

Each piece in this exhibit is a reflection of the artists’ selves. Each of their adorned canvasses is a depiction of their inner psyche, as well as an embodiment of the nature of their relationship. Erratic and incongruous, yet intimate and sentimental — their works consist of fractions of their identities merging, clashing, and thriving in a single space — an outcome of their coexistence with other beings, things, and occurrences that impacted their lives. It is a culmination of the ideas, beliefs, and experiences that led the artists to become who they are today, which will soon be a memoir of who they once were.

What We Are will be up until the 8th of March, 2020. Catch this exhibit, along with many others, at Vinyl On Vinyl Gallery.

Business Name: Vinyl On Vinyl Gallery
Address: 2241 La Fuerza Chino Roces Avenue, 1231 Makati, Philippines
Contact Number: (082)260 0020
Operating Hours: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s