The warm sunlight streaming through the windows in the background invites respite yet the eyes of the woman are wide open in contemplation. CJ Tañedo paints the woman's dress and hair in painstaking details but chooses to smoothen over the porcelain skin--showing very faint lines on the slender fingers and no distinct marks on the face--making apparent a gentle affection and admiration for the subject.
But he is careful to put distance. CJ Tañedo's works have always touched upon Biblical themes, his artist statement firmly entrenched in the Scriptures. Hence, a prudent distance from the female. This distance encapsulates the whole scene.
The woman is painted in cold hues to separate her from the warmth of her surroundings. Two angler fishes swim around her, suggesting the presence—if not of water—of depth. We see no words written on her journal. Her privacy is intact. Her depths unknowable. The artist's trademark verses frame the image, like a silent paean to her mystery. A (literal) lyrical ambience suffuses the whole image with romanticism aptly captured by the artist's technique.
The visual and conceptual elements converge completely, forming a formidable barricade around the hallowed, simultaneously exposing the desire, musings, and fierce territoriality of the unseen artist. She is about to write down her thoughts but it is he who actually divulges.
- Adjani Arumpac
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