STRIPPED of its religious undertones, the Greek word charis (χάρις) simply means gift, charm, beauty, nature, human creativity. Mindanawon artist Dadai Joaquin chose the word as the title for her third solo exhibit, explaining that it is her gift to herself on her birthday.

   “‘Gift’ is what this skill is, this ability to interpret in colors the things that I see,” she says. “‘Gift’ is your love for beauty and art.”

   She also addresses her family, friends, and art patrons who, by their love for art, “have allowed me and many others to practice art full time.”

   Dadai has been painting full-time for 10 years now and has had a number of solo and group shows. As her popularity grew, she has had to accommodate art lovers who love her impressionist style and have commissioned her to do various works. While she has enjoyed working on such material, the trade-off is that she has had little time to paint for herself.

   “‘Gift’ is this time I now give myself, these 15 days of grace to paint things I have been wanting to paint but have never had the time to. These are everyday things that show light in various forms, its force, its character, its drama,” she says.

   Charis/Χάρις is composed of 16 new works that depart from Dadai’s usual style. She has been known for her richly detailed yet impressionist renderings, but her current works on display have broad and bold strokes. Some of them are impasto works that have thick layers that make them pop out of the canvas.

   But while the technique may be different, they still bear Dadai’s trademark of paying attention to light, the way it falls on the subjects and how it interacts with surfaces and even the atmosphere. The result are multidimensional paintings that are alive and full of emotion.

   Charis/Χάρις runs from October 24 to 29, 2016 at Dadai’s studio located at Unit A-3, BSG Building, Arellano Street, Davao City. By Jon Joaquin

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