Carlo Magno (b.1960) has successfully reinvented himself as an abstractionist, formerly a realist. He discovered that in abstract art there was a freedom in expression. In the process of his reinvention as a painter, Magno acquired a new way of seeing of thought, emotion and handling of material in the art making.
The painter shows distinctive confidence in the handling and crafting the intricacies of mixed media, particularly applying acrylic paint pre-mixed with sand particles to make room for subdued textural effects. His command of vast colour and form, provide us a sense of stability and serenity.
His use of colours relates to his minimalistic approach that adheres to the more elemental qualities. Magno is also obsessed with the use of the circle motif, a ubiquitous presence that betrays his firm foundation in Chinese classical studies and philosophy. In many of his works he creates thin horizontal gridlines that take up a major part of the superimposed composition, creating an animated interplay between the spaces, imaginary and reality that crosses boundaries and barriers.
Magno was strongly influenced by bold textures of gestural abstractionism espoused by Spanish and Japanese artists especially Kikuo Saito. The New York School of Abstract Expressionism with their color-field paintings had a major influence on Saito and in turn on Magno. Solid colors across the canvas were enhanced with fine lines and inscriptions to reflect Asian sensibilities. The aura of landscapes was evoked with use of earth colors. Magno also made bold textures in the style of gestural abstractionism.
His works are featured in books such as "Philippine Art Now" and "Twentieth Century Filipino Artists”.