One thing that has unfortunately suffered as I become more and more busy is my painting. For years I would have every couple of months marathon painting sessions, where I would paint for hours and cover the entire floors of apartments with paintings and often times paint splatters. I have a CAHA grant that I received to paint an image that combines the experiences of both Chamorros and Okinawans during World War II. I have started on this painting, but it has been difficult to find time to really enjoy it or finish it.
Art has always been something that has sustained me, even when so much in my life doesn't make sense or seems pointless. I have to make sure that I still find time for it in some form. The last time I had a solo art show as three years ago. It wasn't a large show, just in the former IP Coffee Shop in Mangilao, which is currently known as Ron's Diner. When I was interview by the Marianas Variety about the show I made clear the role that art and creating art has played for me in my life. I've pasted the article below.
Bevacqua: an activist, an artist
by Zita Taitano
May 7, 2010
The Marianas Variety
WHEN Michael Lujan Bevacqua is not engaged in social activism, he paints.
“At times being an activist can drain you. Sometimes you don’t think you’re going anywhere,” said Bevacqua, who is holding a one-man show at the IP Coffee Shop in Mangilao. “I was an artist before I was an activist. For me, we all have creativity in ourselves. I still constantly use art to keep that creative part of my mind alive.”
Bevacqua’s exhibit, titled “Before The Storm After The Fire,” showcases 50 small abstract paintings inspired by Jackson Pollock.
His artworks, Bevacqua explained on his website, are all painted in a “drip style where the paint isn’t so much applied delicately with brushes, but rather splashed, splattered and dripped onto the canvas. The result is usually very abstract, but in the case of this show, I used that technique to try and portray different pioneers amongst the Chamorro people.”
“They’re very colorful. I finish a piece and I come up with a name. Since it’s abstract, I welcome people to see what they want in it,” Bevacqua said. “Some are landscapes and others are about colors and movement and motion. Some of them I’m trying to capture pieces of Chamorro history.”
And while the art is abstract, Bevacqua said they are done as monotype.
“That means you paint your painting on a glass or mirror. You take a sheet of paper you put it on top of what you painted. You get a roller and roll it on the paper and that’s your painting,” he said adding that it creates an element of uncertainty to the point where the painting could be ruined or come out fine.
For Bevacqua, painting is more of a hobby and a creative way to relax.
If there are any signs of activism in his artwork, Bevacqua said what he paints don’t really indicate he’s making a political statement.
“Political art is recognizable. With mine, it’s the people finding their own message in the art,” he said.
The exhibit opening is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be on display until it’s time to be taken down to make room for another artist.