Step into room, and you will see Henri Cainglet’s work. The Filipino native has an undeniable, visual aesthetic that inspires both delightful bewilderment, and a sense of all-encompassing, wild-eyed immersion. There’s something refreshingly modern about his style, whilst simultaneously displaying a kind of timelessness. Mr. Cainglet’s mixture of his cultural roots with elements of key American painters creates this kind of uncanny valley viewing experience. You feel like you are witnessing individual stories with each of his works, with a distinctive beginning, middle, and end in one moment captured in paint, pastel, and sculpture.
Due recognition has followed in the form of Mr. Cainglet receiving numerous accolades. These include being appointed Philippine Representative, ‘Found Objects to Art’ for the International Council for Caring Communities, Inc. at the United Nations in 2014. He was also a Finalist at the Second Central Bank TANAW Art Competition, at the Manila Metropolitan Museum. In his native country, a premier art critic named Constantino C. Tejero has said of Cainglet: “…“His unusual shapes and hues transformed the inside of the artist’s head, brimming over with his fertile and grotesque imagination…In the sculptures, in their unusual shapes and often grotesque embellishment give them their edginess.”
While such aforementioned sentients are undoubtedly true, they fail to mention the distinctive sense of humanity and universality ringing out from the images – sometimes detailed, sometimes interpretive – Cainglet continues to conjure. It almost feels Lynchian, particularly when it comes to Mr. Cainglet’s process. In the comparative sense both artisans feel like they’re almost just communicators – tapping into an unseen world and acting as its artistic ambassador.
To walk in and out of an exhibition of Mr. Cainglet’s work is to walk in and out with a sense of profound inspirational nourishment, delicious bemusement, and a sense that you have experienced something genuine – even if the specificity of such an experience is hard to put into words. Alice Guillermo, the respected art critic, has stated: “Indeed, he does art with a felicitous combination of imagination and dexterity. With his penetrating imagination, he is able to discover and bring to realization new possibilities in his material; in his economy of medium, nothing is ever lost or discarded, everything finds its place.”
Cainglet’s aesthetic sculpturally is a nod to this as well, by virtue of its creation hanging upon the realization of disparate, used parts. The fact Cainglet can take these elements, and like an expert chef with preordained ingredients make something beautiful, only adds to his intrigue on a professional and personal set of levels. The only thing more invigorating than the ravishing, rare beauty of what Cainglet has to offer is that it feels like he’s still just getting started. His work is expanding beyond the Philippines, receiving growing and due recognition around the world – including the United States.