Collection: JJ Duque

Known largely as a writer, Manila-based artist JJ Duque gave his pens (and colored pencils) new roles as he transformed doodles of circles and other basic shapes into meticulous works of art. Taking his art full time in the last decade, Duque has showcased frames upon frames of biomorphic patterns in rainbow hues created by concentric circles and other geometric forms to reveal many stories of a macro/micro perspective of things. Duque's themes revolve around the elements of texture and the principle of rhythm. Texture is present in the gradient rendering and pointillism while rhythm is evident in the repetition of shapes. All these are achieved through a "stream of consciousness" drawing process in which the artist works freehand, without the underdrawing. The process continues with a mantra-like discipline which averages over hundreds of working hours for his bigger pieces. Such is Duque's tenacity and patience. Most drawings are figurative or representational, and there are small contributions to the genre of abstract drawing. From doodling on notebooks and sketchpads, Duque has pushed the boundaries of going into larger formats but still maintaining a loyalty to pens and paper. It is obvious that no one equals his expressions when it comes to drawings, and it is this inventiveness that has given him a unique and well-earned distinction. His style has brought forth a character of its own and enthusiasts can identify his art as comfortably as they can pick out a Van Gogh. While most audiences are familiar with his abstract drawings, Duque is evolving his works to include painting and sculpture.