Published October 29, 2020
There's productivity in procrastinating, isn’t there? Like staring at a blank piece of paper perhaps. For Tom Bucag, this time is precious. It's when his ideas start to form and influences that include hair stylists and the work of Jean-Luc Goddard, Otto Dix, Francesco Clemente, and Maria Lani coalesce. Beyond a distinct stylish and distorted figuration, who are these men and women that Bucag paints? These influences may help us to understand the people and portraits of Bucag, because many seem like mannequin equivalents of French New Wave characters, fashion models, Hollywood stars on Art Deco posters.
As Bucag has evolved, the melancholy of his painted muses has intensified. From stark black and white drawings and bold outlines, a veil of tragedy has been added by experiments in finer details of chiaroscuro amidst bold colors of diluted acrylic. In other words, his painted figures have become more present to the viewer. Their manner and air remains, however, still ethereal, as if the only impurities to touch them were the uneven washes from a brush.
Tom Bucag is a Filipino artist. A self-taught designer and illustrator, Bucag, is in essence a painter. His core is found in the supple line applied by a fine paint brush than in vectors and bits. Apart from having group exhibitions feature his work, he has showcased his drawings and paintings in many local and international publications.