Baguio City, Philippines
Facebook fanpage: https://web.facebook.com/CablogJEF/
via Galerie Francesca —
Jef Cawaon Cablog (b. 1981) is an Baguio-based visual artist who hails from Barlig, Mountain Province. A native of the Cordilleras region of Northern Luzon, he attended the Fine Arts Program of the University of the Philippines, Baguio. Cablog is known for his layered portritures and landscapes which evoke the environment and mythologies of his native Cordilleras. His works are highly textured, achieved by using a palette knife instead of a paintbrush to layer oil onto his canvas. The resulting effect is a complex interlude of colors and textures that serve to highlight his chosen subject matter. Cablog was twice semi-finalist of the Metrobank Art Competition and has also been profiled by the US-based Quarterly Art Magazine Bluecanvas. Galerie Francesca hosted his first solo show in 2012, and he has since exhibited around the country and in Hong Kong.
Already well-known in within the Baguio-based art community, Cablog’s alluring imagery evokes the strong story-telling customs of the Cordilleras, a region celebrated for its unique and vibrant cultural traditions. The narrative structure of Cablog’s works plays with his aesthetic technique that involves his use of layers and light. His highly-textured oeuvre lends an intensely-spiritual aura that is evocative of nature. Cablog work is highly reminiscent of National Artist Vincente Manansala, whom he considers a major influence. The resulting effect is an indigenous rendering that echoes the National Artist’s development of “transparent cubism” that is, at the same time, highly detailed and exemplifies a mature drafting ability. This mastery of fragmented light brings to mind another influence—that of Vienna Secessionist Gustav Klimt. Indeed, Cablog’s compositional sensibilities are subtlety that of Klimt, albeit filtered through the intensely regional orientations of his subjects.
Having been a full-time artist for over ten years, Cablog and his practice are deeply entrenched in the Baguio art community. His association with the Tam-awan Art Village notwithstanding, Cablog’s works have already earned recognition from his Baguio-based peers, including National Artist BenCab, no doubt aware that Cablog’s textured works reveal a sensitive and deeply spiritual artist attuned to his heritage.
The rice terraces of Northern Philippines are known for the meticulous and painstaking process it took to build them. When I paint, I adopt the same virtue of patience in my work. I can only hope the impact of the rice terraces as a grand cultural monument would be the same impact I will make in art through my paintings.