Published December 11, 2020
Van Tuico is a mid-career Filipino contemporary artist who works in painting and sculpture. His works, mostly paintings, employ the use of acrylic paint and industrial materials, such as cement and stainless steel. Unlike other artists whose work may seem similar, Tuico isn’t motivated to be intensely focused on materials and processes. These materials represent raw matter for Tuico to process and imbue with sensibilities, metaphors, and narratives, which derive not only from art, but from life and even the Spirit. They signify a bigger picture or a coming together of ideas in and outside the work of art. It could result from the process by which a theological principle is finally experienced. It could be an abstract or philosophical idea that finally makes sense or becomes practical. It could be the story behind a found object incorporated into a painting. Whatever the case, something is always going on that enters into the work as it is being made.
One cannot escape comparing some of Tuico's work to the innards and unfinished sections of houses and edifices. For Tuico, the eroded and exposed surfaces of ruin edifices serve as inspiration, references for which to work with raw material and birth enigmatic titles and interpretations. The processes exerted on raw materials to simulate the effects of time become a recontextualization of ruins and a kind of inscription of Tuico’s thoughts.
For Tuico and for abstract art for more than 100 years, the spiritual has played a big role. It may not always be explicit in the individual works that Tuico creates, but it is a core aspect of his identity and role as an artist. For instance, family, serenity, soundness of mind are three vital components of his abstractions. All three lay the groundwork for which to work on raw material and imagine it taking a form of potent significance to life.
Since 2008, Van Tuico has had solo shows in the most reputable galleries in Metro Manila, such as Underground Art Gallery, West Gallery, and Vinyl on Vinyl. He has also shown his work in and outside of the country, alongside renowned artists, in galleries such as Taksu in Singapore and Art Informal in Makati. His artworks can also be found in many corporate and private collections.
Visit a Vintana exclusive Van Tuico's art exhibiton of abstract paintings called "Mind Over Matter".