Cultural abstract expression

Filamore Palomo Alcon is a contemporary abstract artist who has produced his art for over twenty-five years. Alcon uses acrylics on canvas to create his work. Alcon began drawing at four years old.

Alcon’s work is inspired primarily from his life experiences dating as far back to his early childhood growing up in the village of Piti, which he expresses mainly through imagination and from deep within his emotions. It was in this the village environment that he was able to live the customs and traditions of the CHamoru culture. Although more abstract than representational, Alcon’s work nonetheless depicts the cultural imagery of the island of Guam. During the 1990s Alcon created island scenes of Guam called the “Islan Guahan Series,” which are quite realistic and are a compromise of his usual abstract form of self-expression.

Color is important in his Alcon’s works and is one of the essential elements of his artistic statement. His use of bold, intense, and vibrant colors is quite obvious when viewing his art and is symbolic of the emotions of color, though no one color overpowers another because of his use of the color black. Black is prominently used in almost all his work for its ability to balance the colors he uses. This is apparent in his stylized abstract depiction of the island, such as “Guahan A.D. 1668”, which was completed in 2000. Because of his use of vibrant contrasting colors, his art produces an illusion of depth and movement on a two- dimensional scale, which gives the viewer a unique feeling of cultural enhancement from an artist perspective.

Numerous exhibitions in the Pacific region have proven successful for Alcon. He participated in various exhibits produced by the CHamoru Artists Association or I Acha’ot Guahan Siha of which he was also a founder along with other CHamoru artists. The group’s first public exhibition took place on August 25, 1989, at Tan Ana’s Kusina, a CHamoru restaurant in Hagåtña. Other exhibits include the University of Guam Isla Center for the Arts. In 1985, he participated in the Fourth Festival of the Pacific Arts and Culture exhibition in Tahiti. In 1985, he was featured as a local CHamoru artist on the “Islan Guam” TV program. He was a nominee for the Governor’s 1990 Art Award.

Alcon’s first one-man show was held at the Pacific Star Hotel in 1992. In December 1994 he and five other Guam artists opened The Guam Gallery of Art in the CHamoru Village to provide a venue for local and indigenous art. In 1995 his painting was exhibited at the Bangkok National Gallery during the 10th Exhibition of the Asian Watercolor Confederation. Alcon’s artwork was again exhibited at the First Pacific Festival of Contemporary Arts Exhibition at Apia, Western Samoa in the National Cultural Center in September 1996. His artwork was selected and featured for Shell’s 1997 calendar. In November 2000, his work was juried and selected for a group show of Guam Artists titled “Creative Hands V” at the University of Guam’s, Isla Center for the Arts. Some of Alcon’s art were was used in books and magazine publications. In 2002, as an artist, he was one of many CHamorus featured in a book, “I Manfåyi, Who’s Who in Chamorro History,” Volume III. This book publication is known as the “Hale’-ta” series. He was also the featured artist for the GU Magazine’s, November/December 2005 issue.

Most recently in February 2005, Alcon was introduced to using the computer as a means to creating his art. Always an abstract artist, he is currently applying modern technology in producing studies of his art. He views the computer as merely a tool to study his concept and designs. Once the studies are finalized, a computerized print is made from which he transfers the imagery created by this technology onto a larger format canvas size using acrylic paints. Recently, in October 2005, he was able to use this modern technology to complete an acrylic painting on canvas, _“The Tao (The Man) and His Legacy”. This art piece was donated, auctioned, and sold during the Gift of Life Art Charity Auction for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Team in Training.

He has also completed two “Islan Guahan Series” paintings, entitled, “Watching Peskadot” and “Fallen Latte” in 2006 using this modern art technology. He just recently completed another “Islan Guahan Series” art study from the computer.

Currently, Alcon is working on studies in preparation for a one- man art show he calls “Cultural Abstractions” and hopes to complete them in two years culminating in his 2nd second one man show in 2007, or 2008. He recently completed two art studies from the computer titled, “MATAN PAKYO”, or The Eye of the Typhoon and “NAPUN TASI”, or The Wave of the Ocean. At the moment, he is working on four other art studies and will be finalizing these latest designs in the near future, which he hopes will become a part of his one -man show.

Alcon is the owner of “The Guam Gallery of Art” located at the CHamoru Village in Hagåtña. He coordinated numerous cultural art exhibitions in 2006. In October 2006 in collaboration with the CHamoru Artists Association, he presented “Orange Night, Spondylus Night,” another cultural art event.

For further reading

Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. “Artists – Guam CAHA.”

I Manfayi: Who’s Who in Chamorro History. VoI. 3. The Hale’-ta Series. Hagåtña: Department of Chamorro Affairs, Division of Research, Publication, and Training, 2002.