In the early eighties,,a group of gentlemen and several ladies would regularly get together on weekends to paint together, share the latest stories, talk about current trends and techniques in the art scene.
Little did the world suspect that this motely group of people called the Saturday Group of Artists headed by a goateed gentle person by the name of Cesar F. Legaspi would rock the Philippine art scene. The group comprised what would become the who’s who in the art firmament. Cesar Legaspi (National Artist), Ang Kiukok (National Artist), BenCab (National Artist), Juvenal Sanso (Presidential Medal of Merit), Malang, Onib Olmedo, Romulo Olazo, Ephraim Samson were among the stellar all-star cast of this gathering.
Included in this group of technically adept and exciting visual artists was an advertising executive who was himself very good at watercolor named Juan “Magoo” Valencia. Magoo Valencia literally lived, breathed and painted with the best of the very best of Philippine masters.
The scope of Magoo Valencia’s work is an awareness of emotions which nature, his biggest muse, inspires in him. In his quest at interpreting his beloved subject, he entices the viewer to enter his landscapes and be part of the scene thereby experiencing the quietude and tranquility he himself experiences.
With this current exhibit of his latest works, Valencia in “As Dawn Breaks” hopes to inspire his viewers to engage with one’s surrounding and remember how to appreciate nature. It is also a homecoming of sorts for this master who is now based in the United States of America.
Nature, to Valencia, is a quasi-religious experience with one’s own Higher Being and the Universe strongly put in focus. While investigating nature through his art, Valencia ends up understanding himself even better and reflecting on his role in life and the purpose of his own being.
“As Dawn Breaks” by Juan “Magoo” Valencia will be on view at Art Lounge Manila from July 15 to August 7, 2020. Art Lounge Manila is located at the ground level of The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.