Scattered Skies and Seas: New Paintings and Collages by Benjie Cabangis

MANILA BULLETIN
Benjie Cabangis: Allusions to Hot-tempered Nature
By PAM BROOKE A. CASIN
November 8, 2009, 1:38pm

It was the Beatles that did it. The impact of the quartet’s avant-garde music at that time was too palpable for anyone not to notice; the world has never seen anything like it. Theirs was cult-like. In England and elsewhere, the most famous musical men on the planet were always met with frenzied screams and sighs of admiration. In the Philippines, artists started following their footsteps and took impetus from the rich and powerful imagery of their songs. The young Benjie Cabangis was one of them.

The abstract artist says that the band’s White Album influenced him a lot. Released in 1968, the album cover was unlike any other. It was white and minimalist and had been stripped off of adornments and color that their previous albums boasted. Songs from the record were mostly inspired by the group’s sojourn in India to study meditation under the celebrated Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Naturally, the songs were moving and possess simple guitar riffs and lilting melodies that captivated the hearts of many.

Cabangis’s oeuvre follows suit. (He also meditates first before proceeding to paint and practices transcendental meditation which Yogi founded. The artist attests that meditation helps him to clear his mind and focus on a painting). His current abstractions, collectively known as ‘Scattered Skies and Seas,’ may be a bit unobtrusive aesthetic-wise but the artist’s statement about it is no less than a powerful and ominous reminder to us all of nature’s wrath and provoking complexities.

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