Dave Alcon

April 19 - May 1, 2022


Written by Jay Bautista


Faith in Fate

Growing up in a farming family in Batanes, Dave Alcon vividly remembers a particular chair with outstretched arms in their humble abode they called silyon. After working the whole day in the fields, for farmers in the family, the awaiting reward was the one who finishes his daily task first gets to sit comfortably in that chair while the rest had to contend with resting on the floor.

Immortalizing that meaningful chair, Alcon used it to constantly remind him of his Ivatan roots. Using it as a graphic handle, Alcon continued to essay various metaphors of chairs as boundless and as a visual effect in his previous three solo exhibitions in the various artistic places he has shown.

Timeline, his fourth one-man show and first at the Art Verite Gallery, Alcon reflects inward as he waxes philosophical during these pandemic times. Appreciating the beauty of impermanence of being alive–marked by what is complexly happening in his surroundings–Alcon visually reminds people in perspective that we have our own biographical milestones–as life must not be measured by fame, fortune, or social media likes.

Still using chairs, for this exhibition he indulges them with bolts and knots, as metaphors for markers. As memories flood us through the years, we need to situate how they are the growth points of our struggle to continue living. Expanding his unique creative expression in transgressing chairs as more than just a resting place of the body, this time Alcon elevates their aesthetics to remind us that we have our own purpose and stages in life. We should not compare each other in terms of who has the most money in one’s bank account or more famously known out there. Rather one should be a good person before being a great artist or whatever vocation we chose to be into. 

Alcon believes we are the makers of our own destiny and the only time we have is now. Breakthrough is the biggest piece and supports that time is only an illusion made up of human memories, everything that has ever been and ever will be is happening now. The gold color threads and bolts are what we can call success pavements–we are measured by overcoming our own challenges—with our values intact. Notice the gold thread did not come in straight lines which means we have our own journey to take.

Chapters witnesses our lives are referred not in years but how much we have sacrificed without compromising our character as persons. Alcon had to forego his being an artist after college. He however had to give in as the artistic calling was forcefully luring him. At this time his long-time girlfriend broke up with him. Despite the successive beatings, Alcon however remained unfazed and took life’s constant low blows in stride.

A timeline could also be called Learnings—we grow in every failure, heartbreak, and every time we decide not to quit in life’s daily battles. Sometimes a better or the One for us would come and moved us effortlessly—as if on time.

Core Purpose is self-reflective done in mixed media in the sense that everything revolves around the man in the mirror. With an all-knowing awareness, Alcon’s chairs are remarkable for their infinite emblem of taking to form what his intended concepts can be. The little hours he has invested in them show how meticulously skillful he ascertaining chairs as an immortal symbol of self-actualization anointing the social space with their presence.

Significances 1 and 2 are two artworks similar to diptych that are complimentary as representing males and females showing how men and women need each other to survive. Each color is reflective in the other’s canvases. His whimsical play of colors is commendable enough proof that one cannot exist without the other. Pertaining also to himself and his wife, Gladys. He wanted to honor her for being a constant presence in his existence—lovingly supporting him. 

As an artist with empathy, Alcon inculcated the positive in the prevalent gloominess around. He desired to inject hope like a shot in the arm. His chairs multiplied and became sturdier as they are well-stocked up and filled up his canvases.

Four portraits entitled Phases are like tips for living. Together they are bound to be an immovable force relating to the sacredness of life. But bound together can extract the power of the many. Blue exudes calmness as Pink reminds us of love and comfort. Green symbolizes growth and a fresh start while brown keeps you grounded with integrity.

How Alcon does it is he makes everything as a series that results in a multiplier effect and curated side-by-side one is visually blinded that they become unavoidably contagious. The simplicity of his pieces is overwhelming by their meticulous rendition. Alcon proves this point, in actuality, excellence starts with him.

Creating Through Chairs

An Ivatan by decent, Alcon grew up in Batanes with a farming family that sustained them. He too has consistently been planting using his brush and oil paints as his canvases similar to his fields of dreams. He wants to fill them up so as not to shortchange his viewers even flexing his artistic prowess at every masterpiece he churns out. Preparing for his career as an artist, however, was not without trials. He got sick with tuberculosis and he had to set aside his brushstrokes to prioritize his health. Also, Alcon survived many crises from heartbreak and living in dire poverty. As he survived this collective crisis, he is now happily married and healthy to create, Alcon wants to always respond through art and be a better person to everyone.

Alcon’s visual style is creatively fresh that it eschews prevalent realism and social themes in the art scene yet one admits to being enthralled by the concepts they emphasize. These recent works shuffle a new order—a kind of going back to basics with a less is more adage. Alcon’s strength is his consistency in his artistic purpose in getting his message across to his viewers.

Alcon’s approach to art may be more of a craft than a holistic aesthetic formation yet he has achieved pure artistry in rendering the visual nature in a convoluted social content in art in these trying times, it will be up to Alcon’s viewers to remember him and as the final arbiter of his familial images–if they are as infectious as to their relevance during the time of the pandemic he created them.