From the moment I held the box of colours in my hand, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.— Henri Matisse
After an impressive solo exhibition at Altro Mondo Creative Space entitled Remarkable Imperfections inaugurated last April 27, 2019 by illustrious personalities in the Philippine art and advertising scene—Betsy Westendorp, Justin “Tiny” Nuyda, together with Ronald and Marivic Garcia—Filipino painter Kenneth John Montegrande is back to present his 7th solo exhibition. The upcoming show entitled Obsession will open on June 29, 2019, 6:00 PM at Artes Orientes Gallery on the 2nd Level, The Shops at Serendra, McKinley Parkway, BGC, Taguig City.
Montegrande is one of the few youngblood Filipino painters with an international reputation. He’s the first Filipino and also the first Southeast artist whose work are housed in the prestigious collection of Contemporary Arts Foundation founded and directed by Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese tycoon and mega art collector whose purchase in 2017 of a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat for $110.5 million, among other acquisitions, made headlines.
As an artist, Montegrande would say that his paintings are compelled by an inner (if not innate) obsession to create, express, and grow something on canvas or, in the words of Joan Miró— to “give birth to a world” and “reveal … something alive.” That inexplicable obsession to articulate the “indefinable” and to confer figure(s) on the intractable is surely a defining reason why Montegrande would often identify himself as an “abstract expressionist.”
Like his fellow abstract expressionists—Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and even Mark Rothko—Montegrande often translates his obsession into large-scale works, thinking that via such artistic magnitude, he could maximize the physical impact of his paintings on his viewers and invite the latter to think and feel more deeply about one’s Self in relation to all that comes with life and living.