Cultured by faith-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
HUMBLY hidden just beside the Sto. Niño candle manufacturing house and the Augustanian monastery is a small studio of an artist and his artworks.
They are privately displayed, a seclusion that gives injustice to the great works set in wooden slabs as canvas by the artist, who also happens to be a priest.
Fr. Dominador Besares OSA hails from Maasin, Iloilo, a place that is undoubtedly rich in culture. He has spent a few years of his childhood in Northern Mindanao where he had direct contact with Muslim culture.
His religious formation and endeavors exposed him to various places in the Philippines. Adding to those, he was sparked with passion for creative endeavors and attended formal art schooling and training, specializing in oil landscape painting.
All in all, it was a perfect formula for his future painting style known as ethno-iconography. “Ethno” means race or a cultural group and “icon,” which means to “represent.”
Fr. Besares’ works are greatly inspired by Philippine culture, with hints of religious aspects that are found in his subjects.
His representations mostly refer to Jesus. His style inspires us to look into local heritage. With his paintings, he creates linkages between two contrasting concepts, ethnicity and religiosity (specifically the Catholic religion) or of culture and belief.
The style of Fr. Besares mostly includes a prevailing human subject with Filipino features that are meant to represent a significant religious icon infused with local prints and patterns on the background. It traces an undeniable fact about his multi-cultural origin. Rather than the usual canvas to paint on, Fr. Besares uses slabs of wood and paints on them as one usually does on a canvas. He uses oil paints, gold leaf and gesso as medium, giving his “canvas” rich and colorful textures. His works are influenced by the atmosphere of his local vicinity.
He is currently working on (and stacking up) his personal paintings with the Sr. Sto. Niño as his subject, integrated with different backgrounds on each painting, mostly inspired by the different church designs from the different parts of Cebu (e.g. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Boljoon and Naga). Through his current works, he implies that despite the different titles and characteristics of the Sto. Niño, he is but one.
Fr. Besares is currently one of the current formators of the Augustinian novitiate and prayer house and is in charge of the candle house in Mohon, Talisay, which produces the candles for the Basilica del Santo Niño.
He continues his creative undertakings during his extra time and anticipates future exhibits of his art pieces in Cebu, which would finally give justice to his body of works. (Erika P. Lagunzad, USJ-R Masscom Intern)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 05, 2013.