Music You Can See: Edwin Wilwayco’s Jazz/Nocturnes Interlude is an Emotionally Charged Visual Journey


The exhibit is the first to be held at Galerie Joaquin One Bonifacio High Street.

Not everything must be in full color, or simply in black and white, as can be seen in Edwin Wilwayco’s new series, Jazz/Nocturnes Interlude. 

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A highlight of pivotal moments, the upcoming show is a deviation from Wilwayco’s signature bold and vibrant hues, mounting two very distinct one-man shows in a single exhibition. In each painting, the artist’s dynamic brush strokes and juxtaposition of textures coalesce into a complex visual repertoire of highs and lows, some gradual, others abrupt.

Wilwayco, who is deeply moved by classical music when he paints, having paid homage to Vivaldi and Back in his previous works, opted for a different muse prior to starting this series: jazz.

Edwin Wilwayco 1

He says the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1950s chart-topper “Take Five” in particular, may have helped set the ball in motion, inspiring him to begin the new series. It prompted Wilwayco to deviate from his usually bright and colorful palettes and instead paint with black, white, and muted earth tones.

The artist also listened to the music of other well-known jazz artists—McCoy Tyner, Andre Previn, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Nathan East, Pat Metheney, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, and Chick Cores—for over five months while working on the series.

Musical inspiration

All 13 of the paintings in the exhibit were directly inspired by the structure of jazz and classical music, says Wilwayco. To a mere spectator, it may seem impossible: drawing together what he refers to as “the properties of musical sound and paint” to come up with his masterpieces. 

“It’s so powerful that sometimes, I wonder if art is using us to reproduce itself,” he says.

But the pieces, indeed powerful, do speak for themselves through a symphony of textures and tones, in variations of movement, flow and contrast. Each stroke suggests an emotional arc, or perhaps a crescendo or improvisation, that moved the artist while he was at work. Wilwayco purposefully used black, white, and a third color, as well as texture and movement, to communicate his theme for each painting he created.

Of course, the themes are open to interpretation. Each painting has a distinct, seductive quality of its own. And for each piece, heavily painted dark surfaces serve as the stage for a myriad of strokes: light or heavy, upward or downward, sideways or diagonal, whole, broken, jagged or splattered, deliberate or subdued.

Edwin Wilwayco 2

The artist understands how complex a series Jazz/Nocturnes Interlude is, and how viewers can be drawn into submission. This reaction may be credited to what Wilwayco sees as “liquid sensations that move the mind into a place of relaxed awareness, in waves of feeling without an exact destination, and endpoint beyond words.”

Heavenly art

Apart from music, Wilwayco credits prayer as an enabler of his creative process. “Prayer is what sustains me and enables me to create. For me the importance of prayer is, I do not have to wait for an inspiration or for a muse to speak to me,” he says. 

The themes for the abstract pieces for this series may be too complex to understand at first sight, but intriguing nonetheless. As with Wilwayco’s previous masterpieces, the ones in Jazz/Nocturnes Interlude are ever as compelling.  

Edwin Wilwayco 3

Like a harmonious symphony, this exhibition coincides with the official opening of Galerie Joaquin One Bonifacio High Street.

A well-appointed, intricately designed space, it caters to a highly selected roster of leading modernist and fine arts masters. The pandemic gave people more time to immerse in their interest in art. New and seasoned collectors fueled a thriving local art scene in the past months.

Understanding the ever-evolving and discerning taste of art enthusiasts, Galerie Joaquin offers Wilwayco’s unique Jazz/Nocturnes Interlude, inviting collectors and lovers of modern Filipino art to take a second look and appreciate Wilwayco’s one of a kind series.

Edwin Wilwayco 4

Edwin Wilwayco: Jazz/Nocturne Interlude will be the first ever exhibit on view at the newest Galerie Joaquin One Bonifacio High Street Mall beginning November 21, 2021. For more information, call 0917-534-3942 or email [email protected].

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