A solo Exhibition by Níccolo José

July 14 – 28, 2021

Niccolo Jose and “Remember_____” at Galerie Roberto

“Since last year, people would frequently begin conversations with “Remember……” For this exhibition, I wanted to highlight those we miss by sculpting abstracted forms that convey the psyche of togetherness. The pieces are meant to be a reflection of resonating moments we’ve had with others.” Thus remarked the sculptor Niccolo Jose, on his exhibition titled “Remember _____”, opening on July 14 at Galerie Roberto.

Niccolo Jose studied at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, USA. In 2010, he earned a double degree in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. Returning to his home country, he learned about Philippine wood and honed his skills with the use of numerous carpentry and sculpting tools. Using sustainably sourced wood from old structures, reclaimed wooden railroad ties, and felled trees during typhoons, Jose diversified into a variety of woodworking projects while creating ever more ecologically sensitive sculptures. Most of the pieces are reclaimed wood, ebonized and lacquered, and mounted on marble. Jose deftly asserts the graceful and almost balletic contortions and distortions of the wood, a monolithic block astonishingly hollowed out, to release the vital form and shape that would convey, in abstracted and symbolic contour, such human emotions as affection and tenderness, joy and celebration, conveyed through the exaltation of dance, embrace, and flight. So enveloped are the sculptures in reflected light and air, that they seem relieved of mass and weight.

Declares Jose: “Coming out of this pandemic, I hope that everyone has a better sense of gratitude and appreciation for life and the borrowed time we spend with the people we are close to and love.”

Níccolo José

Born in 1986, Níccolo grew up in the bustling city of Manila, but he was always drawn to the great outdoors. In his youth, he was always looking for ways to explore his love of nature—he was often found playing in the garden or climbing trees in the backyard. In his teens, he would MacGyver his way out of any problem that arises and kept shadowing his handyman dad, who would do the renovations and repairs of their house. By the end of high school, Niccolo’s dad gifted him his first power drill. In 2005, Níccolo moved to the United States to study at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. The college campus was located next to a national park. It was through frequenting the old-growth forest that he was inspired to study the natural environment and sustainability. He also developed a love for art during college while working as a stage technician in the school’s Theatre Department. There, he worked on props, learned woodworking, painted backdrops, and built large sets for each play. The four-year work experience gave him additional knowledge in using various tools, the importance of a proper workplace, and collaborating with others. It was also Níccolo’s Stage Supervisor that encouraged him to try out classes in the Art Department. By the end of his sophomore year, Níccolo was dubbed as one of the five Renaissance Students in the entire campus for his practice and involvement in the field of Environmental Science, Visual Arts, and Theatre. In 2010, he earned a double degree in Environmental Studies and Studio Art.