LIBERATION. The images are of people that you see everyday virtually anywhere; in the office, their home, the gym. They appear as if they understand themselves, know what’s important and are in tune with what they are passionate about. Is that what is truly real? They know this deep inside and it's like a warm feeling. It's the kind of feeling you get on a warm summer day when your mind is free to wander. Imagine having that feeling all the time. Being the modern world as it is where things always seem to be closing in and we eventually become the countless number of faceless people doing what it is we're supposed to do. How do we know ourselves and keep from being lost in the crowd? Maybe it's something that they know that the rest of us don't. Could it be something spiritual, a moment of clarity or even beauty itself? Maybe that's just something for you to decide.
For me, this is a personal journey to explore the world as I know it. One that tends to be overshadowed by popular culture and stereotypical roles. Using real settings and situations, not only in a romantic way but in a way that is familiar, I ignore the usual conventions of Romantic Realism which tend to over-dramatize our modern world into an almost near-utopia, (“An implied realism, bordering on mere fantasy depicting a moral vision with a standard of beauty & virtue.”) and try for a more existential, internal and individualistic vision. One of spiritual awareness with aspirations to transcend the ordinary within ones' own experience. By portraying this, then beauty exists within the ordinary on a physical and internal level which is intrinsic to the whole human experience.
Glenn Bernabe is a Filipino-Canadian Markham resident. As a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, he studied illustration under the guidance of renowned artists/illustrators such as James Hill, Anita Kunz, Ken Dallison and Gerard Gauci. It was there where he developed a love for the pastel medium. It was also revealed to him there of the potential of using ideas and philosophies taken from personal experience and expressing them to give greater meaning and importance. These are the things that he continues to push in his numerous figurative and illustrative works.
He is a Master Pastellist and a Signature Member of The Pastel Artists Canada as well as a local member of The Markham Group of Artists; He was awarded The Grand Prize at The Pastel Artists Canada Purely Pastel National Juried Exhibition in 2008 and has received other honours in several regional and nationwide juried competitions. In April 2010 as well as back in 2003, He made the Top 100 in the Pastel Journal Magazine's Pastel 100 Annual International Juried Competition. As an illustrator, He has worked with several publishing companies in the past like Orca Book Publishers, Scholastic Canada and Cobblestone Publishing. As well, he has been teaching many classes and workshops in pastel and portraiture to artists since 2003.
“My paintings use everyday situations to show quiet moments that suggest ideas surrounding individuality, purity and spirituality through the use of banal settings from our world. My purpose is to show that on the surface what may seem like loneliness, there is hope and it is beautiful, peaceful and bliss.” (Glenn Bernabe, 2003).