Beyond a stylistic, stylish, and distorted figuration influenced by the likes of Otto Dix, Francesco Clemente, and Jean-Luc Goddard, who are the mysterious characters of Filipino contemporary artist Tom Bucag’s painting? Look at their faces, particularly at their large eyes and countenances, many of them have a lonely and sad quality that can be mistaken as a kind of bliss. It is probably the reason why these figures have been called melancholia personified.
As Bucag has evolved, this 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 lines 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.