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“Ashore” is a story of old age. While death is often described in a positive or ambivalent light — release, the ushering of new life, the ending crucial for living — old age is associated with a carousel of tragedies: decay, devaluation, and impotence. Death is inevitable and necessary, but old age is simply dreadful. There are people who dislike it to the point of choosing to cut their lives short and heading straight to death, to avoid the twilight years altogether.
In this work, Francisco depicts old age as a window towards nothingness. The subject has his back turned from the inescapable view. His form is immobile, maybe even resigned, but his arms cling to himself, hinting at willfulness and refusal. He has yet to strip himself down and face what is to come. He wears a wizard hat, a reference to the common portrayal of wise old men in fantasy, but also a reference to nostalgia — “the pain of an old wound”. His age is scattered throughout the scene: the sagging bed; the wrinkled textures; the frayed cloth; the canvases used up, but unfinished (lives are never completed, only ended). His bed is unmade and he declines to lie in it.
Filipinos are intimate with the knowledge of the sea as both life-giver and destroyer; we are fragile bodies, like our own scattered islands, at her mercy. The subject now edges off from the shorelines: unable to return to his youth on the island, but also unable to let the sea consume him. Yet, whether he embraces or fights the currents, the sea is waiting, and the sea will come to claim what is rightfully hers.
  • Category : PAINTING
  • Year : 2013
  • Total Edition No : 1
  • Size : 60(W) x 48(H) inch
  • Posting : 2016. 04. 22

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