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Alcuaz is now National Artist
Written by Loren   
Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The newest national artist still looks distinguished gentleman. In short, he looks not the master-artist; he dresses tastefully, why, in the grand manner of the boulevardier (a lost species).

He graduated high school from San Beda, earned a law degree from Ateneo, partly to oblige his lawyer-father, but desisted from hurdling the bar. Instead, fired-up he studied art at U.P. without earning a degree. He painted, doggedly, assiduously, turning out canvass after canvass. Unhappy with the rote of academic traditional painting, he painted his own way nevertheless. This seduced him to be bold, an unknown painter showing his wares, for the first time at San Beda College Hall. He showed his artistic prowess in portraits, a better offshoot than his early master Amorsolo. It was 1953. He was 21 years old: the debut of a future master.

In 1954, Lady Fortune gifted him with a scholarship granted by the Spanish Governement because of his second show at Centro Escolar University. On he sojourned to Madrid to study at the Academia de San Fernando, where Amorsolo learned from his master Sorolla. He was still Aguilar the painter. At the Academia, he lost himself grounding in the technique of The Masters (like Goya, Diego de Ribera)., in a kind of artistic "voyeurism." Wheedling The Masters’s secrets. A slow process in itself: forming his own synthesis so he can create his own. By discarding the useless, using the useful.

Art now being personal, to paint restricted by the confines of an academy was... death! So paint outside he must. Thus, he chose Barcelona to be the fertile grounds for him to grow. He must give his imagination free rein. Barcelona became his home, the hotbed of avantgardism. He must stake his gifts. He chose to be influenced by two outstanding Catalan rebels, Tapies and Cuixart, but without aping their style but burning with their rage. The two were infusing young, hot blood into the anemia of modernist art.

Now he was a powerful swimmer enjoying his very strength in the sea of his own mind. He found it a most potent ally. He swam deeper and deeper, his creative self plunging down the depths of the sea of his naked soul.

And to separate himself apart from two other Aguilars, members of the avant-garde spearhead, La Punyalada. Artist-painter, he baptized himself ALCUAZ. [via]

 
 


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