What is “METAPHRASE?’
Person behind the Art…
David D. Oquendo has developed a personal constructed script. He calls this writing system, “Metaphrase”. This “Metaphrase” is a series that includes large-scale wall renderings (indoor and outdoor) and mixed media paintings. The artwork explores the artist’s ideas and questions of identity, language, meditation, religion and life.
The genesis of the series is personal. The artist was diagnosed with a learning disability as a child; causing difficulty in speech, comprehension, translation and writing. The non sequitur has become increasingly fascinating for the artist in regards to idiomatic phrases, music lyrics, identity and understanding in oneself through language.
Oquendo believes that language is not only about communicating with one another, it is also a tool to develop meaning in the world around us. Language allows one to categorize, and to normalize; it allows us to look at multifaceted ideas and simplify it. Language also allows us to build a sense of self, a sense of security and comfort in our own being. It lets us believe that we are in fact someone in particular, someone unique. It distinguishes the artist, Oquendo, from you, the audience. Language stabilizes the disarray of existence. But only to a point because of all the possibilities it offers it is also limiting. It doesn’t allow one to articulate the entirety of existence and therefore fails to alleviate the artist’s fear of it. This failure of language, especially language beautifully displayed, to mitigate the artist’s fearful fascination of existence is a major theme in “Metaphrase”. The work is created by the artist, for the artist, yet admired and unraveled by the audience.
Oquendo’s work is primarily influenced by his mentor Denyse Thomasos. Secondary influences are Paul Antonio Attong, CRYPTIK, Chaz Bojorquez and Neils “Shoe” Meulman.
Each letter is a system that has been influenced by Textualis Quadrata with hints of Eastern Kufic and Hebrew calligraphy. Completion finds the balance between obfuscate text and the beauty of calligraphy. With this series, David D. Oquendo challenges the notion of what language must be, how language must be used and how language must look like.
For more on David D. Oquendo and his artwork visit http://davidoquendo.com
For limited edition prints of his work please Visit: http://www.gitanarosa.com/editions/david-oquendo
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