The works of Reb Belleza take on a playful spin on art. The adventure begins with becoming aware of what one perceives. We land in a spot where our visions may differ. This time, finding joy in others seeing what we can’t. One gladly accepts. For us, a dish of dots got served sumptuously, stating: art moves. And we are transfixed. Taking shape is fun that unfolds towards the other. Nothing can be more attractive.
Fun is love.
Reb Belleza entered the industry of cinema at an early age. In between shoots, he preferred to play rather than rest, which motivated the legendary actress Susan Roces to provide him with boxes of crayons and coloring books. Among others, it ignited a dormant inclination of Belleza for the visual arts. His leanings toward it became evident in school when he took academic electives related to the arts. He enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in 1987 and pursued formal studies in painting. A few years later, under the guidance and support of his godfather Fernando Poe, Jr., he left for California to study Visual Communications at Santa Monica College. He also registered for a summer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since then, the visual arts further shaped his world.
From his show at the Philippine Center in New York, USA, in 1995 to his participation at the 1999 Venice Biennale in Italy and other exhibits held in-between and after, Reb Belleza seized and slayed. His colors are poetry, reminding us of the need for light for us to see. This illumination got reflected in the symbiotic nature of his art. My Art and You co-exist therein, acknowledged. But more than this, the artist intends to embrace You and I. In fun, we may get lost, it seems to say. Comforting it is that we can all return to home, where it all began with love.
Reb Belleza’s one-man art exhibition, “It’s All Connected” will happen on August 6, 2023 to August 12, 2023 at Art Circle Gallery Bahay ng Alumni UP Diliman Campus.