Allan Gragera Alcantara concluded his second solo exhibition titled “Overview” at the Giant Dwarf Art Space. In his trademark style and favored theme, Alcantara produced twenty (20) new artworks in mixed media that compose “Overview” which provides a panoramic perspective of the city. The artist’s style combines graffiti, collage, figurative painting, classical realism, and graphic elements. He draws inspiration from the local art community, popular culture, and the underground music scene specifically ska music.
Though interconnected when placed in a sequential order as it was hung in the show, the individual artworks in “Overview” which stand at a uniform 18” x 48” could likewise be appreciated on their own since each work tells of a different story.
“The works tackle the daily challenges in a big and dense city, and the routinary nature of life. I also made use of words in the artworks as part of the messaging I wanted to convey with the viewers to begin a conversation,” Alcantara said.
Touted to be Alcantara’s most ambitious project to-date, “Overview” sums up the artist’s journey in his more than 20-year art practice and the literal daily travels he undertakes in his Vespa scooter as he goes to his place of work in the global city and returns home to his beloved Angono whose changing landscape is also captured in some of the works. The twenty (20) new artworks bearing series numbers 1 to 20 as titles present Alcantara’s unique view point of the city in hues of blue, yellow, gray, black, red, and brown that create the building structures, the row of houses, the horizon, and the ever-present various lines that complete the feel of grit and grime that pervade the metropolis.
The twenty (20) artworks likewise contain strewn letters that form the following words: Commuter, Worker, Observer, Diverse, Immersion, Urban/Suburban, Challenges, Dilemmas, Desires, Sanity Trials, Experiences, Venues of Pleasures, Opportunities and Hardships, Nostalgia, Emotions, Aspirations, Narratives, Enmeshed and Jumbled, Entangled and Explore.
Alcantara had his first solo exhibition in 2009 called “Perception Versus Reality” at the Upper Gallery of Pinto Art Gallery in Antipolo City. He has joined numerous group exhibitions, among which were “Homebound” in 2017 and “Stride” in 2016 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and Sigwada Art Gallery respectively. Alcantara is very active in the Angono art community. He was one of the founding members of the Neo-Angono Artists Collective and a board member of the Giant Dwarf Art Space.