Jose Johann Bitancor is a Filipino painter and graphic designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Far Eastern University in the Philippines. Prior to his migration to the United States, his creative outputs were devoted entirely to the Applied Arts, particularly Exhibition Design and Collateral Design. Upon his first settlement in Memphis, Tennessee, his innate inkling to work with hands and play with materials has led to experiments in woodcarving and wire sculptures. He pursued a short stint at the University of Memphis-Tennessee to further increase his knowledge and feed his then growing appetite for the Fine Arts. His efforts quickly led to his participation in local art groups’ events and managed to receive a Portfolio Merit Scholarship from the Memphis College of Art-Tennessee.
To date, his works had been featured in a number of group exhibitions in the Philippines and in the US. Notable among which were those held at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center, Bliss on Bliss Art Projects in New York, ANT Gallery in Seattle, the Germantown Performing Arts Center in Tennessee and the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum and Bencab Museum.
Bitancor’s present oeuvre consists of two-dimensional exploration of linear, planar and textural compositions in a non-representational manner. His concerns consist of not only unifying chaotic elements in abstract compositions, but also injecting them with symbolic references to social realities.
The artist lives and works in San Jose, California with his wife and kids. Bitancor’s solo exhibits are 2014 “ISTRUKTURA” Burien Community Center- Washington State, USA and 2014-2015 “TIMELINE” Lynnwood Library Art Gallery- Washington State, USA.
“Early on, I have always been fascinated with the possibilities of transforming a given object or material from one state to another with the barest of means. I took pleasure as a child in hand-crafting my toys from scrap. This would later translate to wood carvings and two-dimensional mixed-media works.I must admit owing allegiance to the concerns of Picasso and Braque in treating reality as a springboard towards abstraction. As can be gleaned from my present works, there are traces of the everyday from the use of materials and graphic devices that hint at what is real, be it an anecdote or a commentary. Yet, I am able to explore its intended spontaneity through manipulation of tactile qualities and juxtaposition of elements. While acknowledging these formal characteristics, my main impetus is my latent sensibility – of being rooted and integrated, rustic and cosmopolitan and, emotional and cerebral at the same time.”