Jose (Jojo) Legaspi plays with the light of pastel to create dark portraits that seem to dramatize the explosion inevitable after the repression of a society, sexually and otherwise. His pastel drawings express with a sense of great pathos and drama the internal conflict within the Philippine psyche, as he seems to experience it. Legaspi's work is informed by wide interests. His university education in the Philippines included biology and zoology, and he once planned a medical career. This scientific background is evident in the detachment with which Legaspi presents his images of violence and horror. His work is concerned with the investigation of personal psychological states, and his sculptures and drawings build on disturbing childhood memories. Legaspi's bleak and obsessional imagery can be confronting, but is often filled with tenderness and pity, evoking the dualism of love and hate that exists in daily life. There are several sources for Legaspi’s images, such as the religious fascination with the gruesome details of Christ’s crucifixion and the martyrdom of the Saints. The daily reality of poverty, corruption and violence for many Filipinos is another source. The artist’s own sense of sexual alienation, being an openly gay man within a society generally intolerant of homosexuality, also inflects his work.
Lives and works in Manila, The Philippines