• Lebajo: Humanism lies underneath modernism

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    Modern technology has enhanced the speed of communication, work efficiency, and accessibility of information. Gadgets guarantee a degree of satisfaction and well-being among denizens of the digital world. Anxiety in these modern times stems not from insatiable desires or from frequent breakdown of tech tools as deep inside is a reality that brings myriads of questions.

    Modernist thinkers and artists have preoccupied themselves with this contradiction and in their works they have strived to offer not clear-cut answers but inspiration by which to reckon such a quandary.

    One artist who has endeavored to give a subtle commentary on what one wants in relation to the environment is Raul Lebajo. His imaginative landscapes that made him a pioneer of surrealism in Philippine art go beyond the superficiality of the surroundings.

    Lebajo’s works, including his Mystic Garden and Circle, are a reminder of the wonder of faith [like that of Job in the Bible]as one shrinks in the face of the sublime. He shows that modernism is not about the conceit, rather a sense of being profane that leads to an ethical generosity and genuine care for all forms of life.

    Art, nature, and humanity are intertwined in his untitled work which depicts a heart that is also a seed, which beats with profound care for what has been inherited from the past and bestowed to the next generation. Underneath Lebajo’s modernism is a thriving and vibrant humanism.

    “Lebajo” runs until May 31 at the NCCA Gallery (B), G/F, NCCA Building, 633 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.

     

    GARY DEVILLES

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