Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Absthetic: The Exquisite world of Abstract Painting ft. Yana Ofrasio

Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with ‘reality,’ next to the ‘real’ world.

                                                                                                                  -Wassily Kandinsky

Abstract Painting is one of, if not the most popular forms of Painting in the World. Tracing back the history of this form of art, it has been one of the hallmarks of modern culture, from the day it was born, up until today. Abstract painting was believed to be first publicized back in 1906 when Hilma Af Klint made the first-ever artwork entitled Primordial Chaos. With the hidden beauty and remarkable messages that are being treasured by this work of art, many artists from different countries started to adapt this unique style of painting. More than 100 years later since it was first introduced to the world, Abstract painting is still reigning on top as one of the most prominent forms of art that holds people together. 

Defining Abstract Art

Contrary to popular assumption, abstract art is more than just a way to express one's emotions. The application of paint to the canvas is not done carelessly or haphazardly. It has always taken a diverse aesthetic approach and has incorporated numerous methods and concepts. One basic concept that sums up abstract art is that it is non-objective. 

In contrast to figurative art, abstract art does not aim to accurately or realistically represent or imitate nature or the outside world. It emphasizes painting components including shape, form, color, and line. It can embody ideals of morality, spiritualism, purity, modernity, music, and even art itself because it transcends the realm of physical reality. The phrase can also be used to describe paintings with reduced or schematized forms that are based on an object, figure, or landscape.

The Father of the Abstraction Movement

Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was renowned for his original ideas and creative conceptions. He was one of the earliest recognized and documented European artists to produce truly abstract, and this would alter the course of modern art and create new opportunities for the long term in history.

In addition to being a painter, Kandinsky was also an art theorist. He thought that the merely visible aspects of visual art were only the surface. Kandinsky viewed artists as prophets who had the power and duty to expose audiences to fresh viewpoints and methods of knowing. Modern art served as a forum for fresh ideas and research. He earned the moniker The Father of the Abstraction Movement as a result of his contribution to the art industry.

Wassily Kandinsky, Anonymous Photographer (!913). Photo Courtesy of www.thecollector.com

The Abstract Art Industry in the Philippines

Abstract art has existed in many different forms throughout history. For instance, it can be observed in Chinese Tang dynasty art and many indigenous works from various parts of the world. It can be recognized in a number of artistic mediums in the Philippines, including indigenous weaving, tribal tattoo designs, and non-representational Islamic art. A wide range of abstract painters or a wide variety of techniques, approaches, ideas, and objectives are all included in non-objectivity. They have included some of the greatest minds in history, including Picasso, Miro, Pollock, Rothko, and other well-known figures who are credited by art history with advancing contemporary art. But Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Kazimir Malevich stand out as the three artists who first created totally abstract paintings. In their own unique ways, everyone was radical. By equating his paintings to music, Kandinsky employed abstraction to represent the spiritual. Dialectics served as the foundation for Mondrian's abstract compositions. And Malevich said that his black picture marked the end of painting as we knew it and the start of a new era in art.

Groups of painters in the Philippines followed these trends, including the 13 Modernists and the Neorealists. Artists like Vitorio Edades, Vicente Manansala, Hernando Ocampo, ad Cesar Legaspi were among them. Both of these organizations came into existence soon after World War II and aimed to depart from the conservative norms that were passed down from Spanish and European fine art institutions. They had the support of Filipino intellectuals, who felt that modern art went beyond the well-recognized realistic and pastoral paintings of artists like Fernando Amorsolo. These artists created subjective representations of reality that showed the numerous parts of an artist's psyche, the less positive aspects of life, and the effects of war. It helped abstract painting gain acceptance in Philippine modern art.

In the development of abstract art and painting in the Philippines, Ang Kiukok, Lee Aguinaldo, Jose Joya, Arturo Luz, Nena Saguil, and Pacita Abad are among the most significant figures. And it would be challenging to describe and classify abstraction or non-figurative painting in terms of Philippine contemporary art. Contemporary painters effortlessly combine abstraction with other painting techniques since it has become so acceptable.

Since it first encountered opposition and was rejected as unskilled seventy years ago, abstract painting in the Philippines has come a long way. It has now grown to be recognized as a distinctive feature of contemporary Philippine art as well as a trademark of current Philippine culture. People in the nation have continued to like abstract painting up to this point, and many young people are still fascinated by it and eager to learn how to produce this kind of artwork.

Yana Ofrasio: The Ambitious Abstractionist of Makati City

Many people were perplexed and even baffled by abstract art, but for those who understood its non-referential language, its significance and accomplishments were clear and full of meaning. One of the best examples of those who grasp the beauty of Abstract Painting is Yana Ofrasio, a 32 - year old artist based in Makati City, Philippines. Yana really loves working with colors and textures, as well as finding balance in expressing her feelings on canvas and showcasing different techniques.

Early life as an Abstract Artist

Yana was first introduced to the world of Art early in her life. At a very young age, she already got exposed to creative mediums that made her fall in love with the craft. She had a creative environment growing up with her parents, who taught her about the fundamentals of Arts. With this, she then got inspired to pursue Arts in college, where she took Multimedia Arts. In 2015 to 2016, she first delved into the world of Abstract Painting using mixed media. Whilst being a newbie to the industry back then, she did not really struggle to put herself in the place where she at right now. “Art always felt like a part of me and my life ever since I can remember”, she stated. For a young, aspiring artist who just started to adapt to this new environment, she really showed her heart for Art. 

In order to master this kind of Art, Yana did lots and lots of collaborations with artists from various fields, as well as doing some experiments using different art materials. She also invested herself in going through online workshops, classes, and seminars, that are mostly accessible online.

Yana’s Inspirations to her Artworks

Aside from being an artist, Yana is also very intrigued with the artworks of Jose T. Joya, Hilma Af Klint, and Cy Twombly. She also enjoys music and in fact, she was inspired by so many artists, namely Sting, Frank Ocean, John Mayer, and many more.

Art's Impact on Yana's life

Yana doesn’t only treat this form of Art, as a hobby, she thinks of it as her passion and her life. She first realized that Painting is her passion back when she saw her Mom do this. “When I was a child, I saw how my Mom made everything around her so beautiful with colors, and the way she incorporated loose materials and found objects very sustainably while she taught art on the side, I thought to myself, I want to do that too.”, she said.

As for her personal life, this Art brought her closer to fulfilling her advocacy of helping people to celebrate their uniqueness and creativity. According to her, this gives her the purpose of her life, and to share it with others is a big blessing.

Yana's Advice to Aspiring Artists

“Always be grateful. Also, take good care of yourself, and be mindful of the things you consume (what you read, what you listen to, what you eat, what you say) it all affects the way you make art. The world has changed so much and it's easy to be overwhelmed with all the negativity but remember that your creativity and your light can make a difference. You matter, and what you do matters. So take care of yourself so you can better help in healing the world through art.”

                                                                                                                                - Yana Ofrasio

Some of Yana Ofrasio's Artworks 

If you wish to find out more about Yana Ofrasio and her aesthetically pleasing Artworks, follow her on Facebook via Yana Ofrasio / www.facebook.com/madeuprealthings and on Instagram @yana.ofrasio / www.instagram.com/yana.ofrasio

Written by: Jan Audrey Francisco

Jan Audrey Francisco is a Digital Marketing intern at PS Media Enterprise. He is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

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