Published February 11, 2021
In a recent post, we published a guide to understanding Filipino abstract painting or abstract art. As mentioned in that guide one of the enjoyable aspects of viewing abstraction is not only the immediate sensation of experiencing that visual piece but knowing how it came to be -- the processes, the materials, and even the images that become edited, transformed, and taken apart in their making. Filipino artist Luis Lopa is one such abstractionist for whom it seems the process is crucial to the outcome.
It's a popular notion that abstract artists employ emotive and carefree or unconscious brushwork and application of color to create pictures that double as quietly moving experiences for the viewer. It's almost a parody. Filipino Abstractionists employ different methods and techniques, and approaches. They also have different temperaments. Lopa seems to be the more calculating kind, focused on the long-winded but necessary process to build and gather pieces that flow into the final product.
He states in an interview with NoliSoli, ““My paintings have so many sequences so it takes even longer to paint...” involving a process of sampling that he likens to electronic music or “collages of noise,” where visual sensations regardless of source and hierarchy are analyzed, transformed, and put together. It’s no more apparent than in Lopa paintings where separate rectangular sections are arranged neatly in the pictorial space. Each one is a sample, a space of a separate activity and painterly treatment.
These paintings suggest a repeatable process of splicing random and variegated visual data. And it’s no wonder that recycling, storing, and returning to studies and discontinued works are part of it. Sometimes in abstraction, there is no room for waste. Each study, each configuration of paint, can be repurposed as long as there is time.
Luis Lopa is a Filipino artist who has had several solo shows mostly in galleries based in Canada. He continues to have group shows in the Philippines as well.
Source: NoliSoli, Luis Lopa