Before your art jotter met professor Karl Roque one presumed that other than Cuevas,great abstract expressionist artists in Cebu were non existent . A chance viewing of Karl's most recent works at the SM Art Center and a short interview of the artist however, proved to be both inspiring and enlightening.
Roque: Great Cebuano Abstract Expressionist
The process that Karl described in creating and perfecting his pictures is complex but the resulting images and color fields are deceivingly simple and clean. Though the surface of his work is planar the movement and textures created by juxtaposing colors and forms draw you into the artwork itself and invokes within your core a wholesome spark of joy. His works are initially retina pleasing then instantly thought-provoking and finally happiness-invoking. To this chocoholic admirer, they are like eighty percent dark chocolate. The phoenylethylamine enzyme present in chocolate that reproduces the feeling of being in love has the same pleasantly addictive effect.
What is there to love in Roque’s work? The subtle transitions and jolting contrasts of colors, both the accidental and intended movement of forms and ultimately the state of mind that it puts you in. In the diptych Deep Forest for example the green gradates into the deep blues and brown while specks of light blue lift up the tones of the canvasses. One had commented, “Viewing this particular painting is like viewing a Chinese watercolor landscape painting of mountains and distant trees. It has that sophisticated sense of multi perspective and open space. It’s very refreshing.”
Roque’s poetic reply was, “ I have attempted to evoke a sense of freshness and a new beginning, like the breaking of dawn, the sprouting of a new leaf, or a morning dew on a flower’s petal. This, perhaps, is an aspiration to offer a different and a more optimistic vision of things to come.”