acrylic on canvas
36” x 48” (91 cm x 122 cm)
Siefried Guilaran retrieves and accesses memories and essential things that help define us. It should be noted that often, memories aren’t always reliable and can be contentious. They can be fragmentary, tentative, tenuous, and possibly manipulated depending on who’s summoning them. However, his paintings become cogent responses that aim at what is gradually lost and firmly secure what is half-remembered or totally forgotten—things perhaps worth remembering.
Guilaran, to say the least, is very interested in the past and its inviting rediscovery through its clues, objects, and any material residues it leaves behind. He weaves together narratives that are immediately familiar and that are matters of rich visceral connections to him. His art is reminiscent of reclaiming nostalgia and a longing for lost tradition.
The artist takes on the role of an unwitting archivist as he turns to old photographs as the object of reference and negotiation. He collects and borrows old photos, most of which were produced in film and are now considered ephemera, from his neighbors and old friends from where he lives and who are deeply connected to a river which they all share fond and tragic memories as a community.
By mapping out memories through old photographs, he examines not just his neighborhood but hopes to rediscover himself as well. Indeed, memory is ever fleeting, and just before they completely fade away, he steps to commit them to history by transmitting them to another medium altogether. From these snapshots, he comes out with paintings as reproduction in halftone images and Ben-Day dots, a style known to Roy Lichtenstein.