In 2016, Khervin Gallandez was on the verge between his work and family responsibilities; thus, he opted to paint landscapes to relax and calm his shattered spirits.
As an Ilocano, he is well-exposed with beautiful seas and land sceneries, albeit at the time, he is simply inspired by Vincent Van Gogh and is content in emulating the Dutch master’s stylisms. As time passed, he was able to cope with his predicament and in turn progressed and had a much more in-depth understanding of his own methodologies and techniques in art. He went back to the province to re-settle while at the same time joining several exhibitions in Manila galleries that paved the way to the launch of his artistic career.
Relatively, he is doing great with his art. A pastime and a coping mechanism as a start, his love for painting came to embrace him. It was instrumental in mending ties with his family and of course finding peace with himself.
The art world since last year came to halt due to the pandemic. Museums and galleries around the globe were forced to close following safety protocols implemented by every government, as well as monetary concerns in maintaining these spaces and for good reasons. If galleries and art institutions were affected, so were the artists who have no other means to survive. Gradually, people began to adjust to the new normal and so Gallandez, who in the process explored the surroundings he is well particular with, the scenic land and seascapes of his hometown. The mental shift was clear, he is no longer artificially copying Van Gogh’s reveries and incorporating it with his works, but he is following his own calling, appropriating his heart and mind in his new body of works.
In the cosmos, it is always demolition, and reconstruction”, says Anselm Kiefer. Gallandez was able to reinvent himself through art despite these troubled times. In this first solo exhibition titled “Between Horizons” his reflections and meditations are brought to life via plein eir works. As a nature lover, Gallandez’s thought process and depictions of his subjects mirrors the fundamental facets of nature: wild, free, continuously moving and yet reflective to one’s soul. It is indeed a combination of unrestrained and deliberately controlled brush strokes giving us glimpses of his soul. His musings in his art. The vividness of his colors are by no other means an accident; but rather, a symbolic and analytic message he wants to project: positivity and reassurance that horizons are clear indicators of breakthroughs and successes.
With our homes as the safest place to be nowadays, it has on the other hand became more of a prison than a sanctuary; hence, work and personal matter environments are intermixed inevitably. One cannot simply let alone travel without adherence to protocols. Much like his European Apo Lakays who birthed impressionism through travels, Gallandez instead confined himself in his own studio. As a result, his works show that the landscape genre during this COVID period is relevant and timely more than ever. It has taken its new breath to him while the gripping effects of the pandemic are taking its toll on most of us. To the artist, it is a gift that he stays in the province where COVID cases are not as rampant as NCR. This privilege he has, through his artworks, will make us contemplate not just about rural folks having much better situations; but Gallandez as a recorder of time reflecting what many of us miss after all: the beauty of nature itself.
After contemplation transformed into action, Gallandez’s sunset depictions are his way of expressing to us that the day has ended so that we can finally rest, reflect, and count our blessings. In the same manner, his night themed paintings would tend us to agree more that the dark hues that envelop his compositions foretell that everything may be at a loss; yet, the fainting glow of the moon gives us courage. Such, tell us that even in the darkest of days, there is still hope. It is further emphasized by his lighthouse painting which signals the seafarers to look in the horizon. It is like us that gazes to the brightest light in the stillness of the night which becomes our beacon and symbol of redemption. Moreover, his pictures in full light are all about possibilities of a brighter future ahead of us. All of these are evocative of his colors and brush strokes.
Gallandez’s paintings reflect our longings, and at the other end, gives us a sense of relief. The way we look on our horizons might be at a different perspective; but, Gallandez’s works give us hope that all shall come to pass. Therefore, Galandez, who came all the way from destruction… to reconstruction, has proven that indeed there is a strong power in and within his art.
“BETWEEN HORIZONS” opens on June 18, 2021 at Art Anton, G/F, S Maison, Conrad Hotel Manila, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City, Philippines. Exhibition runs until July 4, 2021. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Word by Abe Orobia