They said that art is best felt in the middle of pain, heartbreak, and chaos. No one knows this better than the artist Ed Lorenzo who lost his brother last year due to an autoimmune disease. To honor his brother, Ed created the Di Magmaliw collection, thus ensuring, that his brother's legacy will live on.
Most artists have their own style and approach in making a piece of art, and for Ed Lorenzo, his recent work collection is not just about the abundant and overflowing craftsmanship of colors, movements, and accents that marries emotions, feelings, and anxieties. But a celebration of the life of a lost loved one and the sweet sorrow that fuels his passion moving forward.
Ed -as his friends would call him- grew up in the province of Rizal, where he first set his foot in the world of visual arts at a very young age. He admits to always being fond of art that he sees in his daily commutes to and from school. “There is something about art that sparks my curiosity. I like documenting the sceneries and the colors that I see on paper and keeping it in my art shelves.” He quips.
The years that followed saw Lorenzo grow in his appreciation for his passion. Using different mediums such as watercolors, poster paints, and acrylics, he started designing and customizing his brother’s old canvas shoes through painting, where he got featured in several television shows and publications.
The artist’s works were steep in pure abstraction, where he expresses all his feelings and emotions through colors and movements. “I’d like to think that painting has given me an avenue to show not just my talent but all the emotions-both positive and negative- that I’m feeling,” says Lorenzo.
For the past two years, Ed Lorenzo stopped creating art pieces after a tragic event that happened in his life. First, he lost his father in 2019, and just last year, his closest brother died due to an autoimmune disease. With no determination and struck by sadness, these consecutive events have led Lorenzo to put everything away and shelve all his works. “For a moment, I felt like I don’t want to pursue this passion,” says Ed. “It’s too much for my family and me to handle. I don’t have the drive to create something. But my mom told me to push for it and fight the strong current of sorrows,” he added.
Armed with passion and full of emotions, these days, Lorenzo sees painting as his way to celebrate the life of his departed brother. Recently, he found the courage to continue making art pieces knowing that there is a deeper meaning behind every work that he makes, “I found more peace and comfort now, knowing that I’m dedicating these pieces to my Kuya, which I call ‘Di Magmaliw,” he shares.
‘Di Magmaliw is a Tagalog word that means “not to forget,” Lorenzo crafted his collection under that title which signifies their love for his brother that they will never forget. Pieces of his collection are often playful and mysterious as it is often introspective. Using colors that are sometimes monochromatic, analogous, or complementary, Lorenzo accentuates his works with a mix of other mediums to depict flow and movement matched with concentric circles and round textures in Gold and Bronze. “For me, I’d like to believe that these lines represent the flow of being, and these orbs and circles are the lives that we live in this physical world,” he explains. “With the passing of my brother and Father in two consecutive years, I learned that life is but a fleeting opportunity that we need to treasure. So, make the most out of it and appreciate it to the fullest.” he closes.
Get to know more about Ed Lorenzo’s latest collection and his philosophy on art in a special interview below.
What made you decide to come back and create an art collection dedicated to your Kuya?
I consider my brother as one of my biggest supporters in life. Aside from my Nanay, Kuya is always there to push me to create art pieces. He even told me that he’d be happy to attend one of my exhibits in the future. So, after losing him last year, art has served as my sanctuary and given me a deeper meaning to appreciate life and those people who are still around me.
How many pieces are you creating/ have you created for the ‘Di Magmaliw’ collection?
I have already made 15 artworks under ‘Di Magmaliw.’ Initially, I planned on landing my very first mini-exhibit this year, but pandemic restrictions shunned me for doing it. That is why I just posted the collection on my social media accounts and soon on my art website.
I’m planning to make 30 pieces for this collection, so there is more to come. Hopefully, I get to showcase them in a real gallery exhibit, soon.
What has changed from the day you started making artworks as opposed to how you create your pieces now?
During my younger years, I always thought of using my talent to showcase my works to be appreciated by others. I want people to see the beauty that I see with every piece that I make. But now, it is a whole new different story. Aside from the superficial attributes and mesmerizing colors, combinations, and figures that you will instantly catch in every piece that I make, I want my audience to dive deeper into the meaning of each piece. The story partly tells something about the inspiration of my works. And through my 'Di Magmaliw collection, I hope I somewhat translate the story of my brother and how we celebrate his 43 years of existence.
Through your artwork, what message would you like to share with your clients?
The message of my work since July 2021 is simple. Apart from remembering my departed brother. I would want my artwork to become a vessel that conveys a deeper meaning of not losing hope. To appreciate life in its truest form, and to never neglect the presence of anyone in your life.
I want it to become a constant reminder that aside from being a beautiful piece of art hanging on the wall, I like the owner to see it as a reminder to go forward. And always remember that though it is painful, you can’t go back and change the beginning of how your life would happen, but you can always start where you are and change the ending and how you view things ahead of you.
Can you tell us something more about the titles of your creations?
When I started making my abstract art, I always title them after the owner’s name, or how I view the shapes and figures that I see in it. Sometimes it tends to be very pretentious trying to fit in a foreign term that I thought would make my work a cut above the rest. But now, I stick with Tagalog words and terminologies that reflect how we celebrate life.
For instance, I titled one of my works “Daloy” which is a direct translation to the word “Flow,” it pertains to the movement of water but so as the life that we have. I also named one-piece Takipsilim or Dusk, which signifies not just the ending of a day or the darkest point of twilight but a gleaming hope that you see in every darkness.
A lot of deeper definitions lie beyond every title of my artwork for the ‘Di Magmaliw’ collection. But all these titles lead to one message, and that is Life appreciation.
What is it about art that pulls you in and that you absolutely love about it? How has it made you who you are today?
A different set of eyes sets different perspectives. Other people might view the creation of art as a pastime; others may see a piece of it as an element to beautify or spruce up one's space. For me, as an artist, aside from being a form of expression, the pull of art has given me an avenue where I can express my feelings. It has served as a sanctuary where I can do anything without limitations. It has freed my mind from overthinking. Painting has helped me to negate all the uncertainties that I was feeling in the past and focus on possibilities and not on my fears.
Growing as an artist, who and/or what are your artistic inspirations?
My inspirations as an artist changed as I grew older. I started taking inspiration from paddy fields and greeneries surrounding our provincial home in Morong Rizal. When I turned 14, I learned to admire the still life watercolor works of my uncle who was a full-time painter back then. I grew up idolizing several local and international artists. I admire artists from different parts of the world, and I do not just stick to one painting style. Like Gerard Richter who is known not only for his abstraction art but also for his photorealistic pieces and glass sculptures. I also like Zao Wou-Ki and his now very famous triptych abstract work displayed in Raffles Singapore. When it comes to local talents, my personal favorites are Ang Kiukok, Malang, Anita Magsaysay, and Vicente Manansala.
Currently, my liking towards the works of Mossesa, Audkawa, Ross Capili, and Shelee Caruthers fuels me to do better and create more pieces to share with everyone.
What is the process behind each work?
For acrylic pouring, what lies behind that dried-up curvature flow is a meticulous way of mixing colors, tilting canvases, torching, and even resin coating. I, myself, took almost a year to perfect the process.
I start by deciding what colors to make use of as my base and what group of pigments should I prioritize for a piece. After this, I assess the technique which I will use to create the piece. There are tons of techniques so carefully choosing which suits your taste is crucial to achieving what you have envisioned in mind. However, the thought process of how you want your painting to end up is kind of tricky. Since I do the acrylic pouring, that specific moment when you pour the colors and mix them to make a creation that’s equally pleasing and exciting is something that I always look forward to. The beauty in doing pour is that it is unexpected. You don’t usually get the figure you’ve always wanted to achieve. Just because you got bright hoops in the first pour doesn’t mean you’ll retain those figures when it dries up, and that’s what I love about it. It gives me the opportunity to love and appreciate the drying process while waiting for the final creation to come.
The tendency for your paint to become a puddle of the muddy colored mix is inevitable especially if you have combined the colors wrongly, and you have prepared an inadequate solution. (In my case, I do not use a special pouring solution that you can buy in the market in all my paintings. I use my own mixture of water and a special agent so I could control the flow of my paint and the colors won’t combine with others). So, in the end, I say, you just gotta trust and love the process.
What can we expect from The Lorenzo’s art in the years to come?
I’m looking forward to joining gallery exhibits, may it be virtual or on-site. Aside from that, I’m working on my website to showcase some of my other works.
I’m also going to create more pieces to complete my ‘Di Magmaliw’ collection until March 2022. After which, I shall create another collection again. Of course, backed with yet another story for people to relate to.
I’m looking forward to sharing my piece of art with everyone and somewhat changing the way they view a piece that goes beyond the colors and figures.
To order a customized piece you may reach Ed Lorenzo on Instagram at @thelorenzosart and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. watch out for his official art website coming in the first quarter of next year.