“This was not really what I thought art should feel like when I got to the end result of achieving Realism,” Asencio explains. “Being naive as I was when I was young, I thought once an artist had mastered Photorealistic work with precision, that would be the end result–then you would feel fulfilled as an artist.”
Struggling with his artistic identity throughout art school, Asencio moved to an experimental phase, trying new things and learning about new philosophies and world religions.
“When you do that, you’re going to grow as a person, and your art should follow,” he says. “My art was almost like an anchor. It was just technique, and it wasn’t reflecting who I was. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter that everything changed.”
The dissatisfaction with his body of work coupled with the life-altering arrival of a baby girl in 2000 pointed Asencio in a whole new artistic direction. When he first began experimenting with oils, the transition proved more difficult than he had imagined, but the artist welcomed the challenge. Richer colors, more intense textures and a higher sophistication in the application of Asencio’s technique resulted from his newly found perspective. From the transition, an inimitable new style was born.
Asencio’s trademark female figures, set against chaotic abstract backdrops, have led to an explosion in his success and recognition. He found that Realism, contrary to popular belief, was not as difficult as creating the abstract elements seen in his current body of work. The challenge deepened his desire to artistically express himself.
“The intangible sense of not knowing was exciting for me–but frustrating,” he says. “It’s intimidating, but … once I put the paint onto the canvas, the first stroke, the first color, I go into a different world. My mindset is different; the focus is much more intense.”
Asencio often paints to music with heavy rhythmic influences. The pulse and beat help pace his brushstrokes. The aggressive application lends itself perfectly to his unique style. Asencio tackles each painting differently based on what inspires him in the moment. The artist begins using raw oil paint with little to no linseed oil or liquin added. He usually begins with intense colors and then compounds the piece later with more subdued hues and increased textural intensity.
Textured canvas art is quite popular in modern art decor, CWA – cheapwallarts.com sell over 5000 textured paintings every month. According to David, the artist who working for them, they used various materials to create textured art. For Asencio, texture is also vitally important. Although he uses traditional paintbrushes and palette knives, he also likes to think outside the box when it comes to creating much of the texture in his pieces. Asencio will experiment with anything he can find to add new textural components to his work, including the lid of a charcoal can, a crumpled plastic bag or even broken glass.
“I’m always open to new things,” Asencio says. “All the people I draw inspiration from–great philosophers, past presidents, martial artists–they never think they have mastered their crafts either. I could have 500 lives and paint 40 hours per week and still barely scratch the surface.”
Although Asencio has experimented with all types of genres and subject matters, he is innately drawn to the female form. “I don’t think there is anything more timeless that has that sensitivity to it,” he says. “So many artists have painted the female form, but I want to do it my way. I want to say it the way I want to say it. I think being raised by a beautiful, single, strong mother had a lot to do with how I view women, their strength and their sense of integrity.”
His daughter, Angelique, is another reinforcement of that belief. “I pick the simplest, most beautiful, refined object I can imagine, and then I contrast that with my aggressive application, with abstraction, with all that energy in that moment,” Asencio explains.
It is these subtle nuances that separate Asencio’s work from other figurative artists in the contemporary art marketplace. The end result is beamy amidst chaos.
“I want to challenge that balance–from crude to the most refined, from hard to soft, from the subtle to the dynamic; I’m constantly trying to juggle those things between my abstraction and my figure,” he says.
Asencio’s images speak to a universal truth that represents the strength and sensuality of women. His work transcends time and borders. Although Asencio does not know what direction his artwork will head next, he says, no matter what: “It’s going to be real; it’s going to be sincere.”