Maxine Syjuco, an acclaimed visual artist and poet with international recognition, presents her highly-praised “visual poetry” paintings in “The Secrets of Spill Seduction.”
Crafted amid the challenges of the pandemic, these expansive canvases provide personal and revealing insights into the artist’s inner thoughts during a challenging and turbulent phase in her life.
“In my current state of isolation from the world, I contemplate the manner by which things continue to spill around us— with or without provocation”, Maxine explains. “I’ve been struggling with the pangs of deep grief and loss over matters too delicate for words. There’s a certain type of madness that seduces me in incessant voices begging to be fleshed-out. My art is inspired by an obsessive compulsion to go beyond the flesh: to dissect the intangibilities of what lies within us at the very core. Through this exhibit, I surrender to the inevitability of ‘accidents’, and seek to capture that elusive light in the darkness— however momentary or fleeting.”
Deeply personal and probing, the series resembles a diary of furtive emotions punctuated by impassioned poeticisms. Viewers are invited to explore the spillage of secrets as they unravel through the artist’s poignant symbolisms and haunting imageries.
Described by Alfred A. Yuson as “ethereal”, the poet, novelist and critic continues to write: “Maxine’s intricate imagination and trademark wistfulness are as prayerful as they are erotic and esoteric… Primary and primal is her devotion to flesh and feathers — as both turn into one another, exchange fluidity of intention, and revert into excellence of personal illumination.”
At the same time, the poet, columnist and critic Juaniyo Arcellana writes: Maxine’s title piece is a voyeur’s tease and delight… A shipwreck of emotions that makes you want to hold on for dear life… There’s a lone black crow standing guard over a pair of wilted hanged roses, an assemblage of wings as if an archangel lost his way… Swipe left, then unicorns come on, how they resemble freakish goats, while a clown in a top hat evaporates in smoke… There’s a voice that speaks in Maxine’s pigments and oils, and if music could talk, maybe it’s best to listen to one of her canvases.”
Similarly, poet and former Chancellor of U.P. Mindanao, Ricardo de Ungria, intimates: “Maxine has wrestled with a supernal energy of a different order that has maxined her into a deeper, more complex artist… A symphony of images in every frame, luscious and looser without identities… It is carnival time. The witching hour. The time of reckoning and no return. A danse macabre. Memento mori. Unforgivingly lyrical and visceral, ‘The Secrets of Spill Seduction’ rewards me with a bracing spiral of experience similar to the time I first fell in love with the outburst that is the Guernica.”
And conclusively, art critic and artist Cid Reyes describes Maxine as: “One of the finest surrealist artists in contemporary Philippine art… Enveloping her audience in suspense and menace, Maxine pushes beyond the boundaries of convention… From the cavernous depths of her fevered imagination, she opens the floodgates of unseen darkness, and leads us onto the bliss of a new light.”
As her first solo show in Manila since 2020, this highly-anticipated body of work comes after Maxine was selected as the sole representative of the Philippines in the 2021 Experimental Arts Festival in Greece, and succeeded to receive awards from the Art Underground Festival in Paris, the Ninja Indies Music-Video Awards in Japan, the Rome Independent Prisma Awards for Best Experimentalism, and the Fellini Art Awards in Italy. She is also a 5-time recipient of The Independent Music Awards in New York City, U.S.A., and The Magnum Photography Awards in London, U.K., among others.
“The Secrets of Spill Seduction” by Maxine Syjuco opens in Art Elaan on 25 October and runs until Nov. 14, 2023. Art Elaan is located on the 2nd floor of the Filipino Village in Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Metro Manila.
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