“Montegrande createsaseries oflandscapes dramatic seascapesand cloudscapes... toaffirmhis faithinthe providenceof thedivine”
DARK AND LIGHT
Fast-forward 2020, the world is on a lockdown in an attempt to slowdown the spread of an unseen but dangerous threat to humanity’s existence. The lockdown has left many jobless, despondent, and a number with loved ones lost to COVID-19.
Inspired by what is happening in the world, Kenneth Montegrande creates a series of landscapes dramatic seascapes and cloudscapes accenting the contrast of dark and light, to affirm his faith in the providence of the divine. “Though my cloudscapes are mostly dark, you can see, in stark contrast, the glimmering light behind the clouds. The darkness amplifies the light. It is my expression of hope amidst despair. Through my faith, I choose to hope as I know darkness will have to give way to light,” says Montegrande while explaining some of the nuances of his works.
“While I was painting this, I had other concerns. I had some business that I could have closed, to cut down on loses, but there are people I employ. How will they fare, if I chose to close things down? I just held o my faith, and painted, and continued with my business. Thankfully, things worked out. With God there, they always do,” the artist explains.
Complementing the seascapes and cloudscapes are a series of abstract works ranging from rather small works of less than 24 inches at their widest, to an impressive mural-sized abstract expressionist work, approximately 12 feet wide, originally inspired by the burning of the Amazon forest, but whose final form signifies more the dynamic contrasts of color and tone.
Gestural, and with thick impastos of solid primarily colors set upon neutral browns, dark greens, and whites, the abstract works can also be analyzed in the contrast of light and dark of Montegrande’s sea and sky scapes, with drama highlighted in the push and pull of warm and cold colors.
As the repository of Juvenal Sansó’s personal collection, made accessible to the public through the museum; as well as the carrier of the mandate to preserve Sansó’s legacy, Fundacion Sansó uses its exhibition program to create new connections and new meanings to his works through the careful selection of artists to interact with the collection as well as draw inferences and new points of view from.
“Itisfaith madetangible, withtheintent ofrealhelp, inthiscase, forFundacion
This is brought to a new level by Kenneth Montegrande who interacted with one of Sansó’s work through El Profundo, with the specific intention of raising funds for Fundacion Sansó’s active scholarship program. With eleven Fine Arts scholars from the Bulacan State University (with seven recently graduating during the lockdown), the program not only provides aid for motivated but financially challenged Fine Arts students, but platforms through which the scholars may enter art practice. And by interacting with Sansó’s works to augment the scholarship program, Montegrande has delved not only into Sansó’s art, but also in his advocacies. This is clear proof of parallels not only in life circumstances, despite the differences in years, but also, most importantly, in humanistic values.
El Profundo is tangible proof of these values. Aside from being an interaction, it is a work informed by astute faith and an unconditional optimism. It is a rendition of the burning bush from the Bible; a metaphor for the belief that through the workings of the divine, nothing is impossible. It is faith made tangible, with the intent of real help, in this case, for Fundacion Sansó’s scholars.
Through juxtaposing the works of Sansó and Montegrande, it is hoped that we are transported in the artists’ position, and see these landscapes as visions of their inner world—a world inspired by this one, but with the essence of their exceptional humanity laid out as art.