Transparent fanned forms spread out across the canvas, as a rich red background seeps through the palimpsest, transforming into softer pink blush tones. Major Philippine abstractionist Romulo Olazo transforms anthuriums into billowing sheets of white, each layer uttering a subtle innate light. In their congruence, they build a sinewed structure wherein expression and intention meet to simultaneously deconstruct and create.
While there is constraint in representation, manifested by the red spadices that cut through the composition with their bold application, there still exists a fluidity and ease in the final composition. More striking is the use of light - its source clandestine, its presence so overt. Light permeates through the forms while synchronously being emitted from the gauzelike fibers. The ‘Diaphanous’ series is a testament to the abiding influence of Olazo. Its iterations are an amalgamation of the bountiful yet simplistic style that has been carried over throughout the country’s artistic development.
The small details that make up the figures are a nod to vernacular miniaturismo, and the anthuriums themselves are a modernized twist to the transparency often seen in the country’s cloths (think jusi or piña cloth) and architectural details (ie. capiz shell windows). Diaphanous is the modern Philippines, and Olazo with his skillful mastery of this style, distills it in this floral abstraction.
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity issued and signed by the artist
Literature: Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, "Romulo Olazo: An achievement in luminous, ennobling forms," The Philippines Star, 23 August 2015