Pilipino traditional artist Tokwa Penaflorida has the words ‘Lorem Ipsum’ indelibly inked on his legs.  He professes this phrase to be part of his advocacy of decorative absurdity, yet he is silent on the fact that they are the flawed preamble to a dissertation on pleasure and pain. Like the phrase, the subconscious polarizes the readings of his artwork, there is a weight behind his apparent portraits of beauty.

Tokwa Penaflorida 2

Tokwa Penaflorida 4

Tokwa Penaflorida 1
Languorous gazes, sinuous lines, and decorative effects point to his stylistic influences: Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt and Stella Im Hultberg. With them Tokwa shares the fixation of the malleable allure of the feminine, but his figures are often laced with confusion. Tokwa prefers to flaw them. The surfaces are tactile with imperfections, in layers or washes or phantom manifestations. His canvases are like lovely blossoms with the perfect worm in the heart of florid putrescence. Tokwa’s recent works reflect the change from his earlier oeuvre, in which he explores the expressionistic character of his washes within his psychological vignettes, drawing from the subject of a darker eros, one kin and wed to primordial chaos. In addition, most of his works are inspired
from existing literature; a line from a song, a story, poetry or a word.

Tokwa’s work is featured in the July issue of beautiful.bizarre magazine.


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