Wall-bound thoughts

By May 02, 2012

(posted from Sun-Star Cebu November 15, 2005 issue)
By Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano




Most artists are few in words and aren’t adept in writing. Thus, some of their works are left untitled. They seldom keep written records of documentation, journals or diaries. But it is not really the visual artist’s responsibility to write. For the University of the Philippines-trained painter Allen Alesna, the option is to record his experiences in a visual journal. He makes this itemization of his artistic development in periods of years: the years spent in studying fine arts and his post-school work, for example.

The seven years that took him to finish school was something he remembers as an “anxiety-driven trip”. The next three-and-a-half years was a hiatus, he having been absorbed by the working class doing commercial and applied art as a product designer and graphic artist.

Soon, he got bored in the office enclosure, good thing those box-like empty white walls that surrounded him didn’t have a claustrophobic effect on his creativity.

Alesna likened them to big imaginary blank canvasses where he let his imagination run free, painting them with thoughts and daydreams. For him “this came to be a temporary refuge from the stress at work”. Soon after the nitty-gritty of office work, those invisible thoughts became more vivid as they  materialized on paper. A perfect escape from the daily grind.

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