R.M. de Leon is never at a loss for words when trying to articulate what inspires him to come up with a new set of works. One day, his attention was just drawn to a book on flora and fauna, and thought he could learn something new from nature. Thus, Second Nature, his new exhibit at West Gallery, provided the platform in which he is able to twist, dismantle, and conjoin familiar forms and characters into newly reconstructed, hybrid images.
In his creative “me” time, he started playing around with the memory and idea of trees, composing them as if words making up a vocabulary, and then contrasting them with animation-inspired, abstracted shapes and forms. It is like lifting a page from a book, describes de Leon, but he keeps it very graphic, in an effort to make something out of nothing. He admits “groping at the form,” and coming up with what looks like “ghostly” details of the original, a semblance of nature and “mutant” floral and fungal forms straight out of his imagination. It is his way of portraying abstraction, reconfiguring natural and created elements in a manner that is very visual and very playful, as if poking fun at established aesthetic conventions.
Nice, cute, or ugly, that’s how de Leon exactly intended them to be. For him, art is very personal, and likes to keep doing it because he is having fun at toying with found images and making them truly his own.