With his intensely narrative practice, painter Rom Villaseran manages to carve out a niche for his neo-surrealist concepts and aesthetics. The University of the Philippines-trained painter is apt to use broad strokes, but paradoxically tempers them with fragile lines and details. His acrylic-on-canvas works display an artist whose narrative leanings have brought him to the forefront of a unique style, anchored by unparalleled technique.
Villaseran’s foundation is his adherence to narrative. Using an organic palette, he largely establishes the landscape as metaphors—of decay and rebirth, the cycles of despair, and other heady concepts. Scattered within his oeuvre are details – some glaring, others so fine as to almost require a magnifying glass – that the resulting cacophony is both lavish and subdued. Villaseran also uses a neo-surrealist approach to his practice, managing to create a dream-like ambiance without the resulting haze. Credit this, perhaps, to an incredible grasp of technique, which is highlighted by the fact that the artist favors the water based medium of acrylic—which is at once more difficult to control than oil. This combination of technique and vision allows Villaseran to explore the ‘inner world’ of hallucinogenic space.
Coming off a slew of successful one-man shows, Villaseran looks to establish a successful practice in the coming years.
Trailer for Rom Villaseran’s 2015 Solo Exhibit in Kashima Arts Gallery, Japan, Hardin sa Lawa (Garden in the Pond)
Chinatown TV Feature on Rom Villaseran’s 2017 Solo Exhibit, Ilaw ng Buwan (Light of the Moon)