BAYANI RAY ACALA
Bayani Ray Acala was born and raised in the town of Paete, immersing himself in the artistic progeny this side of Laguna famous for its woodcarving tradition. He went to the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts, finishing his advertising course in 1996.
Acala first worked as an in-house desktop artist at the Suara Design and Communication. By that time, he had joined various competitions, emerging as third prize winner at the Center for Campus Ministry On-the-Spot Painting Contest, a semi-finalist at the Metrobank Annual Painting Competition, in 1997, and third prize, in 1999, in the same contest. A veteran of group shows held in different venue, he had his first solo exhibit, “La Pleine Lune”, (Full Moon) at the Galerie Joaquin. This was followed by another solo show “Ligawan,” (The Courtship) in the same venue, both shows exploring the theme of romantic dalliances and trysts, with erotic underpinnings.
Acala focuses on women as protagonist in these well-delineated trysts and games of seduction. His women, however, are depicted as strong, independent-minded creatures who have no qualms being caught in these dalliances. In colourful, Gaugainesque tableaux, he delineates women as lusty, if libidinal, earth-bound, nocturnal nymphs who succeed in radiating a rare presence, for both their vulnerability and eroticism.
Acala often stages his mise-en-scene in the lush ambience of trysting places, the protagonists occasionally indulging in musical activities as a most welcome diversion. His paintings have evolved in time, as the artist wrests imminent control on his subject, infusing new perspectives and seriocomic touches in the process.
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