Black and white, strictly speaking, are not colors. In “Sixty Seconds in Heaven,” the third solo exhibition from Adam Nacianceno, the artist achieves utmost equanimity amid the prevalent stressful life that we are collectively experiencing—lingering on chaos caused by the complexities of the recent elections, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the quagmire of moral decay.
As his bespoke visual style displays the intricate play of light and dark on his canvases, what Nacianceno offers is pure bliss hanging on the wall — a sort of framed medicine for anxiety — as his brushstrokes exude near-perfect figurative expressionism marrying broad Pollock-inspired splats with detailed foliage in between, something Nacianceno insinuates as his last-ditch effort in saving the environment through his art.
Nacianceno blends black and white not to appear as opposites, but as a continuum: white symbolizing innocence, purity and loyalty, as well as births, baptisms and weddings; black representing formality, power and elegance.
Not surprisingly, his paintings do not have distinct titles — as though they represent one long masterpiece, flowing together. Viewing the work, one feels rested, in a trance-like place of tranquility. Nacianceno blends black and white not to appear as opposites, but as a continuum: white symbolizing innocence, purity and loyalty, as well as births, baptisms and weddings; black representing formality, power and elegance.
The tones may evoke death, sadness, and mystery. Together, however, black and white offer a truthful poetic expression. Every painting represents, on some level, a mandala shape: an artistic representation of higher thought and deeper meaning given as a geometric pattern starting from small circle to a bigger one filling up the space.
“Sixty Seconds in Heaven” makes for a restful pause in the middle of all the screaming noise. Viewers can see the beauty of colors limited to two tones.
Nacianceno says that, without art, we are left passionless and without a coping mechanism, causing us mental and emotional disruption. Like night and day, black and white are not separate, but endowed with duality: the reason why we sleep and then wake up.
In “Sixty Seconds in Heaven,” Nacianceno also pays tribute to those who died during the coronavirus pandemic and says this series has shown him what contemporary art promises to be. He’s only just begun.
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“Sixty Seconds in Heaven” opens at M Gallery, Manila, Unit 17D, DPL Building, M.J. Paterno St., Pasadena, San Juan City, on June 15 with artist reception at 3 p.m. Show runs until July 10.