The Patchwork configurations in the paintings of Roy Veneracion (b. 1947) signaled an exciting direction in Philippine abstraction. His works, with their tattered and seemingly clumsy abstract patterns, are an aesthetic criticism of the cosmetic refinement that soon characterized the smooth and immaculately crafted minimalist Philippine paintings. Veneracion’s intentional shabbiness of texture and his exaltation of trashy and scratched surface force on the viewer a recognition of the painting as an object controlled by the artist. Linear drawing, oscillating color areas, select figurative forms, energetic and rhythmic interlacing of undetermined puzzle parts combine in an anarchic elegance not unlike the improvisations of jazz musicians. Veneracion’s paintings are visually atonal, disrupting harmonies that the viewer expects.
1992 Cid Reyes