Provenance: Luz Gallery This mixed media work focuses on two figures depicted in two very different qualities. Created in a similar style to his ‘Larawan’ series which integrated imagery reminiscent of nostalgic photographs, this 1975 work evokes a sense of history by juxtaposing a desaturated palette with modernist techniques. On the top half we see the German composer Ludwig von Beethoven looking off past the frame to the right, superimposed over his eyes are thin lines reminiscent of a staff used to write musical notation. On the bottom, a woman’s silhouette stands in the nude, molded in the style of classical sculpture. Tying both together is the use of textile—the drapery which BenCab had been exploring since the early 70s while living in London. Cid Reyes notes of his work with drapery during this period “the light that filters through the fabric becomes not only a visual but also a sensorial experience.”
BenCab’s dexterity in the depiction of the behavior of textile has proven to be one of his most iconic themes. His skill in both academic and modernist art—and the amalgamation of styles—has proven to be and continues to be National Artist’s greatest stylistic strength.