'Impressiography': The Art of Ruston Banal-A A +A
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
IN A TIME when contemporary artists' subjects and objects are represented in a sacrilegious approach; with sacred but profane iconographies, and a shock value presentations of "mockery of faith" and idolatry, there are still disciples of visual arts who express themselves the epitome of beauty and good life through their relentless love for the arts.
In Betis, one artist who reinvents images from a mere outright photo portrait to an illusion of "impasto" (thickly textured paint) gets back to the orthodox approach and method of the Classics and Modern Period of European Impressionism using the digital technology. His name is Ruston Banal and he coined the style as Impressiography.
Banal started out as an art photographer to some of the countries' top visual artists, documenting artworks and objects used for publication materials and biography-portfolio books.
His recent work is a book for National Artist Napoleon Abueva where he is a main photographer that graced the pages of the biography of the Premier Sculptor of the Philippines. Aside from this, he is an award-winning photographer to some of the world's contemporary photo competitions and had several published photographs featuring his photo journalism and portraits.
"I am using the technology of the computer as a tool to make a rebirth of the style 18th century Impressionists painters like Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh did during their period but with a Kapampangan context," Banal explained.
Being an Art History Professor to some of the countries prestigious institutions, Banal's expertise on the theories of Greek, Renaissance and Modern Art led him to the fascination of the style of the classical standards.
"Being a painter myself, I want to present a bride not as a mere bride but patches of vibrant colors and smudges of paints embracing the whole canvas," Banal added.
Although in 2D, his works show illusion of texture and bravura strokes when every detail is actually done in digital brush and in prints.
A graduate of Fine Arts (magna cum laude) from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a major in Art History and Minor in Painting, he went home to Betis in 2006 and has been staying there for good because of Kapampangan cultural advocacies where he has a great passion.
Banal is currently a lecturer of Art History and Theory at the De La Salle University (CSB Design Foundation). He also holds teaching stints at the University of the East College of Fine Arts and Ateneo de Manila University.
And one of the many things he is doing now is making portraits using the technique Impressiography to the Kapampangan elite circle which include portraits of Tess Guanzon of Sta.Rita, Tess Laus of San Fernando, Agnes Romero of San Fernando, Inah Yap, the reigning Mutya Ning San Fernando and recently, the portrait of Ms. Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, current Mayor of Lubao town.
"I want to share to the Kapampangans a concept of good taste and spectacular aesthetic experience amidst this restless and chaotic world where art sometimes is used as a tool of disrespect and racism," Banal elaborated.
Banal will be doing an exhibit using the technique this coming November as a fund-raising project for cancer patients, where some of the proceeds will go to foundations such as the renowned Teatru Ima At Arti where he serves as a resident photographer. He is open for those who are interested to have their selves a portrait called Impressiography.
For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: firstname.lastname@example.org(09173435197).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 09, 2011.