Ever since he was a child, Enzo has always showed an inclination for the arts. Creative energy flows through him and is a part of his genes as home videos will prove, the Razon household was home-base for a plethora of shorts, starring himself, his sister Katrina and their cousins.
As the years flew by, Middle School, High School, University, one thing that remained constant was his fascination with cameras and the artistic process. From dramas, comedies, set designs, film editing to animated shorts and more, Enzo’s then childhood hobby has now become a blossoming career.
On October 14 at 5pm Enzo will be launching his first exhibit called Fur On Fire And The Children Of The Corn in The Open Space, 134 Jupiter Street, Makati. The show will last from the 14th-17th of October, 4-9pm. Make sure to stop by!
How It All Began
Looking back through his formative years, Enzo tells me that he has always had a Moleskin notebook where he could jot down thoughts, ideas, plans and drawings. When visiting his studio he showed me piles of these black Moleskins, going back over a decade, filled with memories of his youth and amazingly the same figures and sketches that appear in his ink drawings today.
“I have been drawing the same faces. He is everywhere. He used to be a character I created named Benny Hana. He had a whole story that I used to tell my sister and now it evolved to these drawings. I keep going back to my old notebooks to make sure that what I am doing is genuine” says Enzo.
Enzo started out immersed in film but is now focused on photography and drawings, both of which made up his first ever exhibit: Fur On Fire and The Children Of The Corn. “One of my most valuable takeaways from school was that I realized that my love for photography and film, anything visual, is the same. It’s the same scratching of the same itch. I really enjoy the collaborative aspect of movies, that’s my favorite part of making films actually, but I also found that I love the central, individual control of drawings and photography work. All of them channel that feeling.”
Behind The Title
Now you’re thinking, what is Fur On Fire, and why Children Of The Corn? Great question. Another constant, and example of the title’s strength, is that Fur On Fire has been what Enzo called his film productions since the beginning. It is a moniker for him and his friends who created a collection of entertaining videos. “Aside from the fact that it sounds cool, fur is indicative of expectations, the past, and so, setting that on fire is simply challenging and changing that. Doing the unexpected.” explains Enzo.
“I am calling this exhibit Children Of The Corn because on the surface my drawings look like corn, but on a deeper level it is because I wanted to make something that everyone could have an instantaneous reaction to. I wanted people to have their own unique, instantaneous, individual reaction to the works, with no preconceived notions of what the exhibit was. The fact that everyone reacts differently is another means of unification.”
Aside from the corn-esque ink drawings, Enzo will showcase beautiful portraits, close-up photographs of people’s faces bursting with emotions, from wonder, concern, anxiety, emptiness to glee. “I did not want to use anybody that I knew. It’s just harder to respond to them. It’s weird. If I was taking a photo of a friend, and I asked for a certain emotion, I would know, that’s not what you look like when you’re nervous or confused. So it had to be strangers so I could get that real, raw emotion -- we would both be new to each other.”
Lastly, he is presenting canvases with more abstraction. Symbols, shapes and lines appear across colorful surfaces, in this third collection. I asked Enzo if and how the three collections relate to one another, to which he said:
“On the surface, the first set looks like corn, but it also speaks to the unifying factor of humanity because so many cultures make corn around the world. Next are the photos of people and last are the more abstract pieces with no faces. The point is to examine how people are conditioned to empathize and realize people’s personalities even if we have never met them before. When you look at the portraits you imagine their feelings, their present, their past. I am hoping people will think to themselves: "I wonder who that person is and what their life is like." The same actually goes for the ink faces because each one has a unique emotion too. The last set, is a further abstraction of human emotion and faces. There are no faces drawn, but our mind is so conditioned to recognize patterns and after seeing these two sets of work that do contain faces, people can start to visualize them in these canvases too.”
I have known Enzo since we were 3 years old, and he has always been true to himself. To see what was simple fun and games have such a formative effect on him, morphing into an achievement to be oh so proud of, is absolutely smile worthy. If he continues down this path, filled with exuberance and wonder, we will be sure to see many more exhibits in his future!
Photos by Ramon Tan Mangila