2016/06/26

Ambiguity in Gary Custodio's 'There'

Gary Custodio's latest one-man exhibition titled There is an ocular precis of the artist's childhood experience. It is inspired by a particular time in the artist's life as a youngster, when relocating felt like the only thing certain. In the province, the artist recalls, life was not as easy as shooting fish in a barrel--and in most cases, it was unquestionably necessary to migrate from one distinct site to another. The artist then frames his abstract perception of this specific experience and offers both viewers/spectators and passersby a chance to migrate from certainty to ambiguity.

There, according to the artist, pertains to either the "undefined location" or the act of pointing to a non-particular direction typically by pouting the lips. The artist relates this to a common encounter in the past --"When I was very young, whenever somebody asked me where I live, I'd simply say 'there.'" And then he uses this particular experience to create an aesthetic experience that capitalizes on the ambiguous quality of art.

Works included in the series labeled as "Three Houses" are what Custodio considers as key pieces in his most recent exhibition. With such works we, as viewers/spectators, can all assume a position that requires higher-order cognitive processes and start psychoanalyzing the artist. We can then hypothesize that the "three houses" in his series are a direct reference to the houses the artist used to live in prior to finding a permanent settlement. Or we can just let our ambivalence take control and allow the artist's abstract representations of a concrete experience remain abstract.

The geography of lines, shapes, and color in Gary Custodio's works seem to follow a visible yet indeterminate pattern, while varying shades of blue and gray dominate his canvases and a few blocks of bright colors (yellows and oranges) would pop here and there.

Overall, Gary Custodio offers the kind of art that uses different levels of ambiguity to appeal to the viewer/spectator's appreciation and the bystander's tolerance of abstract art. Because of its ambiguous quality, There can be taken as an an exercise that requires higher-order cognitive processes in which the viewer/spectator can use his/her knowledge of the artist and/or utilize a wide array of references in order to create a sensible interpretation that does not necessarily have to be in congruence with the artist's view of his own work. There, being visible to any bystander's peripheral view, can perhaps also be accepted as just one of the many existing ways of interpreting a single human experience.