FERNANDO ANTIMANO is an epitome of a modern genius. This multi-awarded artist, this alumnus from the University of the East – College of Fine Arts, has been wowing the art world even in his student days. In 2012, he bagged the 2nd place in sculpture category from the prestigious Shell National Arts Competition and awarded by the Maningning Miclat Foundation for his painting entitled “Prisoner of War” in 2010. But these are a few of the laurels that decorate this artist’s head.
Lately, his works are both homage to the Masters of the past and also a form of rebellion against the existing artistic or aesthetic norms. In other words, his works are what Albert Camus calls “constructive rebellion,” which gives birth to a more radical replication of the classical art and paves the way to a different interpretation of “the true, the good, and the beautiful.” This having said, his works is an open invitation for intellectual discussion, particularly when it comes to the philosophy—and hidden stories—behind Antimano’s works. The idea is to disturb the pattern of understanding for the so-called “beauty” and how can an artist alter realities and ultimately, creating a piece of a different kind of Universe.
“In every rebellion is to be found the metaphysical demand for unity, the impossibility of capturing it, and the construction of a substitute universe. Rebellion, from this point of view, is a fabricator of universes. This also defines art. The demands of rebellion are really, in part, aesthetic demands…” [from the Rebellion and Arts, 1956]
In his own words, Antimano narrates the “coming to be” or how his “homage to the classic”, in terms of his artistic style, becomes, by itself, an “anti-classic”:
“The evolution of art from classical to modern and contemporary showed [the development of] different ideas, principles and aesthetic level (in the execution of works of arts). The continuous development of the arts through the years faced challenges including the interpretation and acceptance by the viewing audience of what is beautiful and what is considered as pretty.”
At this point, the audience will realize that Antimano’s rebellion is not without a cause; but it is the way of the artist of attempting to liberate their minds, to radicalize their interpretation of beauty. And this reality about Antimano’s works gives it more cultural and aesthetic value than ever before.
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