Art / Roberto Jamora
:: Three Works ::
From the artist
:: Account ::
Each gradient is a vignette of an experience or place in my Passing Memories series. I attempt to commit important events in my life to memory via painting. I mine color from memory and photos I’ve taken/have been tagged in on social media. Cold wax and oil paint are swiped across the canvas to conceal extraneous possibilities and to limit sentimentality. A thin trace of landscape is revealed. Skin tones, days at the beach, climbing a mountain with a lover, my parents’ backyard, a city sidewalk, the bayous in Louisiana where my ancestors once lived: color triggers these recollections.
Re: Postcards from Uncle Renato to Lola and Lolo
I am not a religious person but feel most spiritual when I paint about my family or the Filipinx diaspora — trying to make a connection with the past. While making this piece I tried to conjure the ancestors, specifically my Lola (grandmother), Lolo (grandfather), and Uncle Renato: he was the first of my dad’s siblings to immigrate to the US. I never met him or Lolo because they died several years before I was born. In 2010, I was at an artist residency in Quezon City, Philippines and took a trip to my dad’s ancestral home in Sorsogon, Bicol. My cousin Michael found a bag of photos/postcards/letters that my Lola (my grandmother who had passed away in 2005) hid in the family storehouse next to sacks of rice. I scanned as many of the photos as I could at the university Michael taught at. I wasn’t sure what I would do with the newfound historical documents of my family until recently, but realized that these photos are some of my only visual connections to my family’s past. The gradients in this work are from Uncle Renato’s postcards and photos of Lola and Lolo. The layer on top is the skin tones from aged photos (hence the pinkish violet/ochre sepia tones) of my Lola, Lolo, Uncle Renato, and my own skin tone.
Roberto Jamora (b. 1987, Annapolis, MD) holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from Purchase College, State University of New York. He lives and works in Richmond, VA and is an Adjunct Professor at VCU School of the Arts. He was awarded a 2018 Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation for his project “An Inventory of Traces,” a series of abstract paintings inspired by stories of immigrants in NYC. He has participated in residencies at Joan Mitchell Center, Ragdale, and Sambalikhaan. This summer, he will be a Fellow at Virginia Center for Creative Arts. His work has been in exhibitions at Frost Art Museum, Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, Topaz Arts, Page Bond Gallery, ADA Gallery, JuiceBox Art Space, Norte Maar, Shockoe Artspace, Good Enough Projects, Quality Gallery, Scott Charmin Gallery, Fouladi Projects, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Open Space, and Outlet Fine Art.