Whether his eyes are trained on a still life object or a crowded, urban landscape, Stevesantos treats them with equal meticulousness and attention. No detail is wasted. Such is his workmanship evident in his first one-man exhibit for 2012, Recent Works, at West Gallery.
While his still life works highlight his keen eye for detail, as every line, form, and color is carefully chosen to match his vision, his landscapes, vividly rendered in watercolor, reveals the artist’s penchant for spotting patterns and structure in an otherwise chaotic setting. One of the sprawling settlements that caught his eye is that of the houses on the highlands of Baguio. To many local residents and visitors passing by, these burgeoning landscapes are seemingly ordinary, and, perhaps, even eyesores amid the disappearing greenery in the popular tourist destination. On Stevesantos’s canvas, they are transformed into genuine works of art. By using brighter colors, he instantly erases negative perceptions and turns them into postcard-perfect locations. It’s not that he wants to ignore the deep-seated problems brought by rapid urban development. It’s just that he chooses to see them differently, focusing on the painterly possibilities of his subjects.
That is why he does not get tired of visiting and revisiting these places. He knows there is always something new to discover when he returns.