ARTIST HENRY ASENCIO – PASSIONATE DESIRE
“The Bright and Deep Red - Live Painting and Showcase of Henry Asencio’s newest works at Exclusive Collections Gallery at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace”
By Scott Philip Santodonato
Henry Asencio has emerged as one of the most captivating young artists working today. Asencio’s paintings emit spirituality and possess elegance and sensuality. “Abstract expressionism”. Asencio’s work cannot be pigeonholed: loose and flowing, rhythmic and musical, his stylized brushwork, bold and subtle color, and texture has resulted in a body of work that has earned him international accolades.
“I was a self-taught airbrush artist. I did all the realistic stuff. I was all about realism, realism, realism. Once I got that down, it wasn’t that fulfilling, so I went to pure abstract, and that had almost too much freedom; no rules. Now my style is kind of like a combination of both. That is when I really found my voice. Now it’s not so much that I struggle with technique, but I struggle to keep the balance, the overall mood. If I get the mood, then the technique just falls into place.”
In 1996, Asencio was sponsored by an art supply company, Thayer and Chandler, which resulted in exposure in exhibitions as far afield as Germany and Paris. In 1998, Asencio’s work was recognized in the Amsterdam Art Competition. Earning the prestige of being a first time artist dually awarded with gold and silver medals in two separate divisions, he was acknowledged for self-portraiture in oils and a figure in the acrylic medium. Excelling in his chosen discipline, Asencio graduated with honors from the San Francisco Art Academy in 1998. He was a chosen finalist in an Artist’s Magazine competition that same year, again for his work in portraiture. Although he earned a living as a portrait artist early in his career, today Asencio is “more concerned with creating a mood and pushing the aesthetic, opposed to replicating a scene. I basically can’t separate those things in my work.”
Asencio, known for the sensual vivacity of his work, endeavors to “obtain the spirit of a mood, and create soulful work that is striking and effortless, yet sustain its integrity through the subtleties and passion. His aggressive technique, painted on boards because he was tearing through too many canvases, emotes a beautiful obsession with the female body and a true spontaneous approach to his art that draws the viewer in and moves one to experience emotions of joy and sorrow, happiness and pain, lust and restraint, and much more.
“I grab a small brush; dip it in paint and turpenoid. I do a sketch, kind of block in the shadows. Then I crank up the music and let the colors fly. It’s real intense. It’s ironic, it starts off as a very realistic sketch, with a strong foundation if you will, and then the music is on and the paint is flying, and I’m just going at it for awhile, then I kind of corral that after awhile. You get to a point where it’s losing a little bit of the structure, so I bring it in and make some parts more realistic and some parts loose, trying to get that balance.”
With an appreciation for artists who have chosen their own course, those who are moved to follow their muse, Asencio has chosen a similar path for himself as a fine artist and now sculptor – inspired by the works of British artist Lucien Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud, and motivated by the “unbelievable vision, work ethic and unrelenting passion” of Pablo Picasso. Other notable inspirations include Wilhem de Kooning for “making every stroke of the brush different,” and Gustav Klimt for “making decorative painting with integrity.”
“It’s funny, because when I hear music, I see a lot of visual things. When I have to memorize things, I’ll think of different colors for reference. When I’m painting, right now I’m painting a woman in a three quarter profile, and each part is like an abstract section. In each part there has to be a rhythm for that area, but it has to go in harmony with the rest of the painting. It has to have an overall harmony and it has to have the individualism, too. It all has to make a beautiful piece of art.”
Asencio’s work translates an impulse into his own reality. Asencio prefers to work in oil, as “nothing compares to the richness and workability of the oil medium and it fits my technique perfectly.” He begins a painting with a gesture drawing and then begins to mix color and apply the paint according to his temperament. Asencio applies the thick paint with a palette knife, thereby transforming a traditional painting into one possessing his “cutting edge signature style.” A native of California, today the artist lives and works in his studio near San Jose, north of his birthplace of Los Angeles.
“In everything that I do, on the small scale to the larger scale, it has my experience, my passion, my soul, my heart. It’s an accumulation of feelings and there’s the tangible technique, like the paint and the board – just the basic element of how beautiful the paint is, not only how beautiful the model is, but it’s the texture of the board and the paint. It goes from the very sophisticated to the very simplistic. To separate these things is almost impossible."
EXCLUSIVE COLLECTIONS GALLERY
On May 25th and 26th, Henry Asencio painted live, and re-introduced Las Vegas to his body of work at the new gallery: Exclusive Collections Gallery at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, the new home for his collection here in Vegas. Painting live models to the live inspired sounds of concert violinist Aaron Meyer, Asencio, as seen in these pictures, started a piece from start to finish, while Exclusive Collections Gallery owners, James and Ruth-Ann Thorn, greeted and educated guests on Henry’s work and their new gallery.
Exclusive Collections Fine Art Galleries (EC Galleries) offers an unforgettable experience for those who appreciate the beauty of fine works of art. Everything from the artists and fine art, to the exciting lineup of special events, to the exceptional service of their staff, EC focuses on achieving one purpose: to foster an extraordinary gallery environment where patrons and artists can meet, share their passion for art, and build long-lasting relationships through the joy of collecting fine art. EC Galleries’ themed events are marked by a special artist appearance, culinary delights, fine wine, acclaimed musicians, dance performances, and surprises along the way. Backed with decades of experience in the fine art industry, James and Ruth-Ann Thorn are considered fine art gallery experts. Whether you are an experienced art collector or entirely new to the incredible experience of falling in love with a work of art and starting your own collection, EC Galleries at The Forum Shops is definitely an incredible gallery, offering many services including framing, installation, and events to expose children to art, and pet-friendly events, too. Make sure you check out their upcoming events calendar at www.ecgallery.com.