A time of bold blooming for artist Joseph Tecson

Contemporary artist Joseph Tecson seizes the world of fine art, grasping delicate moments of respite with his bold compositions of energized blooms. From 21 November to 4 December on the white-washed walls of Galleria Nicolas Greenbelt, Tecson’s 16th solo exhibition Quatervois will be on display.

At the height of the global pandemic, the artist found solace in the midst of verdant treasures, found in his father’s budding flower farm. Quatervois highlights Tecson’s keen resonance with flora that stemmed from a significant breakthrough in his personal life.

“I want to represent what my dad did on the farm,” Tecson states. In an attempt to find a silent retreat, as well as to honor his father, the artist unearthed inner tranquility in the form of striking blossoms. When it comes to creative expression, we see Tecson’s innate boldness untethered from the ‘traditional’ way of painting flowers. 

“I tried to make it as abstract as possible. I think how I paint really is a little violent. In fact, thick slabs of paint saturate every corner of the canvas, as if imitating the very nature and element of a real flower, in his own brilliantly twisted way. The result bears an artistic style anew; bravely different from his, rather darker, works culled from his struggling past.

During a period of incarceration from 2008 to 2012, Tecson learned how to paint. Still, he found solace in those dark times, a “beautiful disaster” as he calls it, leading him to realize the transformative power of art and the capacity for personal growth even in the most challenging of circumstances.

“I wouldn’t be an artist today if I didn’t go through that experience,” Tecson says.

Thus, the title Quatervois is coined, indicative of Tecson’s turning point in his artistic career, as well as his ending battle with his dark past. Finding time to pause and reemphasize his intentions as a passionate creative, Tecson’s organic visuals feel like a breath of fresh air, representing a new path in Tecson’s personal journey to spiritual growth.

Born in 1985, self-taught Tecson acquired his painting skills while incarcerated between 2008 and 2012. When he was acquitted of the charges, the artist had already been part of numerous exhibitions including his first solo at Mag:Net Gallery in Quezon City titled Inmates, a series that featured 50 portraits of convicts and detainees from where he was imprisoned. Since then, the artist has mounted several solo exhibitions in and out of the country. His continuous strides earned him a spot in 2014 at the WhiteSpaceBlackBox in Switzerland, consequently mounting his solo exhibition, Inmates + Outmates.

Despite the lack of formal training, Tecson developed a distinctive style of his own. His thought-inducing artistry ranges from the traditional themes of portraiture to the dynamics of societal contexts, often reaching satirical implications as a means to challenge and uncover the vulnerabilities of society’s preconceived notions.