Daily Practice: No Method

RM de Leon

September 14 - October 9, 2010

Gallery 2

R.M. de Leon loves playing around and subtly challenging preconceived notions through his art. In his latest one-man exhibit at West Gallery that runs from September 14 through October 9, he takes on abstract painting, “poking fun at such style of painting because I find it too dated looking these days, yet somehow I suspect that there was something kind of romantic about it.”

“At one point,” de Leon continues, “I thought that my style and taste for painting was moving or graduating progressively from the abstract formal mode of painting toward the narrative type, which is prevalent in my current works to date.” Studies of splashes of paint in the abstract expressionist mode allowed him to come up with good compositions. “But as I continued to enlarge them,” de Leon recalls, “ I couldn’t help but observe the ‘germinal’ growth, changes, and additions that happened as I proceeded to work.”

Like American artist Jeff Koons, de Leon valued the “germinal” progression of his works, including the unstudied changes that inspire him to “embrace the unexpected” on the many layers of imagery that he uses to play around the idea of abstraction. De Leon notes that the abstract images serve as the foundation for all the other layers of imagery. “In the end, I was convinced that there was something very romantic and poetic about the classic manner of abstract painting…I am once again reminded that the act of painting, with all the gesticulations of abstract painting, gets its grace from ‘poetry’ of it all,” says de Leon. Yet he never relents on his inclination to poke fun at the standards of the abstract style of painting, adding that the humor and the blackness in the things that he does or creates is what keeps him going.

For this exhibit, he sticks to acrylic but shies away from the canvas. He explains, “Especially when it is on a large scale, I really do find paper very, very elegant. My concern is in the quality of the artwork, not the quality of the material.”