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The work of Angelito Antonio is characterized by his use of colors, the most marked of which is a shade of yellow that is almost luminous. He also gravitated toward folk genre and the application of figurative distortion and strong diagonal lines – qualities that radiate from this piece that highlight sugar plantation workers or “Sacadas.”
Angelito Garcia Antonio (3 Feb 1939) developed his own color schemes such his acidic yellow, from black-and-white series. His subjects have been primarily folk genre such as cockfighters, vendors, ice cream peddlers,and balloon sellers, which shows the influence of Manansala. Through the years, he developed a style of his own.
He revisits his popular themes of women vendors, musicians, cockfight enthusiasts and the Filipino Family in the show, "Legacy," Oct. 16 to 20, 2013. This series is done in a unique style tin that the 15 artworks are painted in a purely black and white mode with Antonio daring to explore tonal values and graduations of shade to dramatize his unique concerns and interests.
Born in Malolos, Bulacan, Angelito Antonio (b. 1939) or "Mang Lito" as he is known in Sta. Mesa Manila, he took his secondary education at the V. Mapa High School. That was when he would frequent libraries, including that of the United States Information Service (USIS) to scour art books. "Everything is there," he says, and he would soon be acquainted with the works of Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon who would serve as his earliest influences.
A multi-awarded Filipino painter and master teacher for generations of art students at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Antonio is an expressionist painter known for his strong cubist compositional forms using folk and rural motifs. The UST has had a strong tradition of Filipino modernists that include National Artists Victorio Edades, Botong Francisco and Vicente Manansala. Antonio is part of a figurative expressionist movement from this school and count among his peers and colleagues Ang Kiukok, Antonio Austria, Danilo Dalena, Mario Parial, Jaime De Guzman and Norma Belleza.
He has over 20 awards from top Philippine art institutions and organizations and count as among his awards, a Grand Prize (1965), a 3rd Prize (1963), and a Best Work at Competition (1972) from the Art Association of The Philippines, 2nd Prize from the Shell Art Students Competition (1962) and is a recipient of the prestigious Arawng Maynila award for contribution to the arts from the City of Manila.
Antonio is famous for his strong and confident diagonal lines, his unique approach at figurative distortion and his use of black juxtaposed with strong brilliant primary or muted tertiary colors. In this exhibition, Antonio challenges himself to do away the strong primary and tertiary colors attempting to achieve the same effect with a controlled black and white palette highlighted by their various shades and hues. It is a masterly approach to develop his themes and subjects.
"Legacy of Angelito Antonio", Inquirer LifeStyle Beta, http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/artsandbooks/artsandbooks/view/20101011-297035/Legacy--of-Angelito-Antonio
"Angelito Antonio", Wikipilipinas, en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Angelito_Antonio (Accessed 6/23/2013)
Leon Gallery, Philippines
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