“Still Life - Kasuy” 1999
Oil on canvas. 60.96 x 60.96 cm; 24 x 24 in Victor and Sincerely Te
The decades during which Olazo obsessively worked on the Diaphanous series has sharpened his sensitivity for the sinuousness of shape. The curvilinear forms that have assumed such amazing fluency and freedom in the hands of Olazo posited no limits in spatial complexities. In a need to relax the rigor of his densely concentrated shapes, Olazo regarded the possibility of exploring a shape which, at an immediate glance, the eye can perceive as whole, complete and homogeneous in itself. Moreover, Olazo sensed an excitement in a more jocular approach to shape-making. Providentially, nature proffered to the artist a shape that gave him an immediate sensation of his childhood. Training his eye on the cashew (kasuy) fruit Olazo quickened to its simple and seductive form, accented at the top by the piquant seed, consumed as nuts, and familiar to all Filipino children.
Thus was the genetic origin of the kasuy shape in Olazo’s oeuvre, propelled onto his canvases by the same Diaphanous transparency technique. The artist was immediately receptive to the recognizable shape, which materialized in a succession of canvases, heavily laden with layer upon layer of repetitive “screenings.” The surging accumulation of cashew-shapes, each one meshing into the other, then fused at spontaneous intervals, each flitting in space like butterflies, effected a marvelous fitness and mobility. Olazo bartered the rigidity of form for the delight and clearing of a familiar fruit redolent of his native culture.
- CID REYES / EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK: ROMULO OLAZO