A Critique on the Works of Carting

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Date Submitted: 01/24/2013 01:55 PM

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Rigo Villacorta


FA 30 Z


I. Introduction

If one would speak to a work of art, he would find it hard to understand its visual language if he does not know how to interpret the elements of the work and the emotions of the artist. Norberto de Guzman Carating is one such artist that paints emotions in his masterful abstract paintings and creates mixtures of elements that leaves riddles for the viewers to decipher. His retrospective, “Norberto Carating: Artist Collection in Retrospect”, curated by Rubén D.F. Defeo at the Bulawagan ng Dangal in UP Diliman, Quezon City, is a collection of his works from 1967 to 2012. His works worked like a biography, giving viewers hints of his character from his years as a student up to the present time. If the paintings would be arranged from the oldest to the most recent, one would find a pattern, a transition from one style to another but the Carating brand remains in every frame.

I describe Carating’s works as strange, but not in the wrong sense. They are strange because they are unlike other non-representational art I’ve seen. And of course that must be, for every artist is unique and has his own way of expressing himself. But among all the Filipino artists that I knew, it was Carating that stood out. In most of his paintings, the artist put emphasis on texture. Specifically, he used physical texture, not the visual type of texture that is merely illusory. If you scrutinize his works you would identify thin and thick layers of paint and soft indentations in some. Thus, to really appreciate his works, it is not enough to look at posters and pictures of them. If he did not emphasize the element of texture, he made use of the element of color. Carating creates a mixture of colors and weaves them into a masterpiece.

II. Analysis of Works

This section is a formal evaluation of some of Carating’s masterpieces. This consists of a detailed analysis of three chosen works and...