Life and Practice
Alex Crisologo was born in Bangued, Abra. He is the 6th among 7 siblings. His father was a provincial veterinarian and farmer, and his mother was the media consultant for the government. He grew up in one of the oldest Spanish colonial houses in the Philippines that at times became an impromptu zoo because of his father's collection of exotic animals. He graduated Bachelor of Arts Communication Arts at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños and is a member of the UPLB Comm Arts Society, Theatre Horse, Pantas, Japanology Society, UPLB Babaylan and Mermaids Ph. He is a merman performer who competed in the 2019 World Mermaid Championship in China where he performed with his own merman tails using recycled materials. His artwork is mostly influenced by the local lore of his home province and by vintage illustrations of children's books of which he aspires to be in the future.
I’m a Myth Surrealist
It’s funny that I got to realize one thing about my art; it starts from where I am.
After moving to a city that I was terrified to go to from the get-go, I never thought that my spirit of creating would actually cease. The experience was a first for me and I was so confused and completely depressed about it. All that I had left of my creativity were the memories of my origins that I took for granted.
I remember thinking while in the process of starting the last artwork, that I was lost and at the brink of losing it. All the things I needed were there, but my hand would physically ache from even touching them. It was heralding its protest against me and to where I am and at every waking moment in my head, a voice kept screaming “GET OUT!”
I couldn’t of course, I had to wait. The covid months in Manila felt like I was in a dark tunnel and the thought of not knowing when it would end felt like it was a labyrinth or worse a bottomless pit. This kept running in my mind that suffocated my spirit and my will to live. Every day, it was as if going through the pits of hell and being terrorized by my own Furies. Until finally out of perhaps divine pity on me or just dumb luck, I saw a glint of hope.
Gazing at another sunset on a vast expanse of sea and to the East a full moon rising from the hills, I understood what happened to my spirit. It was never lost, it never died. It slept.
I talked about my genesis, my inspirations, my artistic relations, and the name of my art that night at the beach. I saw once again the wonder of how I started, how it grew, and how it finally knew its name.
My reason for joining GGAir was because I wanted to be part of a residency dedicated to art as a way for myself to save the last remnants of my creativity. Like water instead of milk, it kept me going long enough to find solace.
What I never knew back then was that the residency unlocked what I thought was the limit of my creativity and gave me something greater. Like Pandora’s jar, I unwittingly unleashed my unending potential to do more art and like the sirens of Anthemoessa, I heard the truth clearly from the waves.
The city was my winter and embodied the chaos someone like me could not understand. I am yet to learn how to guard myself against it, like a beast that is about to face a warrior. I will face it and try to bottle all the inspirations I have collected from my stay in paradise and hope that it will last me for a finite lockdown in the city.
But I now know where my creativity lies, and I shall return to it.
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