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‘Persistence of Passion’: Marco Santos shows fire’s transformative power in new exhibit

MANILA, Philippines — Fire – we’ve seen its destructive power as most recently, over 13,000 were evacuated due to Mount Mayon eruption, while the Manila Central Post Office Building was reduced into ashes by more than 30 hours of flames.

Fire – most people are afraid of getting burned by it, but not Filipino artist Marco Y. Santos. Instead of “destructive,” fire’s “transformative” power is at the hearth of Santos’ new exhibit, “Persistence of Passion,” opening in June 15 and running until July 1 in J Studio, La Fuerza Compound, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.

With no formal Fine Arts education and making his pieces from pure and creative impulses, Marco Y. Santos or MYSAN describes himself as a “work in progress” while his works evoke the idea of “Art for its own sake” and urges the viewer to renegotiate preconceived notions of the craft and see only true undiluted expression.

Not only did Santos trade the paintbrush for a torch as his preferred artistic method; he even finds “expression and fulfillment” in the process of torching and burning a wide range of media such as glass, acrylic, wood and canvas, though he is not limited by these. His approach is one of curiosity and openness. When he torches glass, for instance, he knows there is a high chance of failure.

“If there are cracks in my work, I follow the cracks and let my medium’s unique characteristic flow through my hands,” Santos said. “The aesthetic focus of my work hinges mainly on the concepts of balance/imbalance, symmetry/asymmetry, construction/deconstruction, materiality/immateriality; hence my works may not immediately reference recognizable forms. Instead, they are meant to make the viewers create their own narratives and interpretations.”

"The aesthetic focus of my work hinges mainly on the concepts of balance/imbalance, symmetry/asymmetry, construction/deconstruction, materiality/immateriality."

Whether he is using media like tempered glass, acrylic paint and bottles, he gives all of himself to his creations, and this “passion” for his craft is “so overwhelmingly incessant, it yearns to be expressed… Unrelenting, unabating, unstoppable,” which is why his upcoming show is aptly titled "Persistence of Passion."

"Persistence of Passion” is also MYSAN's “personal metaphor” for “the restlessness of his mind as he persistently endeavors to develop a visual language for his art making.”

This unbridled energy and "almost fierce impulse to create" resulted in Santos churning out "hundreds of line drawings on paper" that served as foundations for a series of burnt wood works, which now thread the lines of abstract art and "exist at the cross section of sculpture, craft and installation.”

This creative energy, the exhibit notes said, is most felt upon seeing the works on the walls.

“Santos is unstoppable and is constantly pushing boundaries of his various media,” the exhibit’s notes vouched.

“Sometimes being unregimented by formal art schooling is its own reward.”

MYSAN”s “Persistence of Passion” is on view from June 15 to July 1 in J Studio, La Fuerza Compound, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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