CACOPHONY OF FORMS, FREAKS, AND ODDITIES


JUCAR RAQUEPO

Jucar Raquepo’s satirical oil paintings feature packed compositions of cartoon dogs playing poker, Van Gogh with a crown, the iconic Batman crime boss, Two Face, and a very familiar outline surrounding all of these figures.

This shape is that of the jeepney, its windshield, its main entrance flanked by tiny windows, its mudguards. With all that’s going on in these paintings of Raquepo, the jeepney serves as a most fitting overall organizing shape, even as these very shapes morph into outlines of different monsters. The jeepney-like facade is made complete with the garish placard declarations atop it.

These paintings are the products of Raquepo’s fondness for what he calls our “aberrant” culture, born from our own very distinct interpretations of Spanish Catholicism, American consumerism, and western art.

This mutation of borrowed cultures is apparent in the hodge-podge rough-and-tumble of kitsch and references that become careful balancing acts with titles like Corruption, Validation, Divide and Conquer, and Fortune and Luck. These titles clue us into what each painting is about with its heavy composition of coded figures and symbols. On the whole, they are based on Raquepo’s observations on Filipino culture, politics, and even art. Their satirical intent would explain why a versatile painter and draughtsman like Raquepo who also creates lush realism would paint in the style of a political caricature.

Raquepo’s satirical tableaus are not the only highlight of Raquepo’s solo show with Vintana, “Cacophony of Forms, Freaks, and Oddities.” Rounding it all up are paintings in acrylic, compositions of various shapes filled up with flat colors, fragments of images, and impenetrable colorful noise.

Their overall abstraction is broken up by a prominent theme, images of circus freaks. With that, Raquepo announces an aberration of another kind and the mentality of an artist of this age. According to Raquepo, Contemporary Art, compared to Modern Art’s high and proper formalism and beauty, can be considered a freakshow. Its weirdness is the product of “helter-skelter overproduction and the regurgitation of things already done into strange forms.” In these paintings, both polarities, modernism’s formal intelligence of shapes and the inescapable irony and farce of the contemporary, serve as both the mother of invention and an unfeeling zombie-like drive to keep on making.

"ANATOMICAL WONDER, YUM COOKIES"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC AND TEXTURAL MEDIUMS ON CANVAS

18” X 18” | 2020

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"FREAKS AND ODDITIES, DELI DELIGHTS"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC AND TEXTURAL MEDIUMS ON CANVAS

18” X 18” | 2020

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"TRIBAL"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

20” X 15” | 2012

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"TERROR EAST 1"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

54” X 42” | 2010

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"FORTUNE AND LUCK"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

24” X 18” | 2012

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"DIVIDE AND CONQUER"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

48” X 36” | 2010

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"MASK"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC AND TEXTURAL MEDIUMS ON CANVAS

31” X 44” | 2020

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"SATIRE"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

17” X 14” | 2010

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"RABBIT HOLE"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC AND TEXTURAL MEDIUMS ON CANVAS

18” X 18” | 200

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"BOILING KETTLE"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC AND TEXTURAL MEDIUMS ON CANVAS

18” X 18” | 2020

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"RESPECT AND ADORATION"

JUCAR RAQUEPO

ACRYLIC, TEXTURAL MEDIUMS, AND OIL ON CANVAS

54” X 42” | 2011

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JUCAR RAQUEPO


CACOPHONY OF FORMS, FREAKS, AND ODDITIES

Over the last twenty years, Filipino contemporary artist Jucar Raquepo has worked across different artistic disciplines such as painting, installation, assemblage, and video art. His paintings the majority of his work, have been defined by pictorial experiments with imagery that references and even questions art history, popular culture and personalities, politics, Philippine history and society, and Philippine contemporary art. Meanwhile inseparable from these artistic endeavors is Raquepo's role as a husband, a homemaker, a father, and a teacher.

Audiences have come to expect a variety of emotions and visual styles from Raquepo's canvases, from comical and satirical pastiche, to playful abstractions, to refined, even sentimental collage-based paintings featuring scenes and items of Philippine history. All of them have one thing in common: a cerebral assessment and reassessment of associations and meanings and the drive to create something new.

Raquepo's works have been showcased in solo and group shows in the Philippine most acclaimed galleries, such as Liongoren Gallery, Pinto Art Gallery, Finale Art File, Boston Gallery, West Gallery, Vargas Museum, NCCA Gallery, and Manila Contemporary. He has also had exhibitions in Incheon Art Platform in Incheon, Goliath in Brooklyn, Freies Museum in Berlin, 8 Salon in Hamburg, NBRHC in Ontario, and Whitewater Gallery in North Bay. He Participated in the following artist residency programs; the Changdong National Art Studio in 2010, the Incheon Art's Foundation's Gate Project in the same year, and ArtsHealth North in Ontario in 2012.