FOUR different styles in Galerie Joaquin Group’s simultaneous art exhibits, “Four Shows: A Narrative of Humanity,” last April 14-20 at the SM Art Center in SM Megamall, featuring Lydia Velasco’s “Paradiso,” Jerry Morada’s “Kinang,” Juanito Torres “Allegory,” and Buen Abrigo’s “Indeterminacy”.

“Everyone indulges in his own preferred style, but all the artists are bound together by a single concept. These works are their individual interpretation on social issues here in the Philippines,” said Ruben Cañete, the curator and a UST alumnus.

Thomasian Lydia Velasco’s “Paradiso” showed women as independent and strong, doing their mundane chores with passion. Her expressionist approach depicts the female form with exaggerated facial features, masculine musculature and green and red complexions.

“I admire women not because I am one, but because of what I see in them—like my mother and my children.” Velasco told the Varsitarian. “They are able to bear the pain of childbirth and menstruation, and the stigma of being the ‘lesser’ gender in the society.” Velasco graduated with a degree of Fine Arts in Advertising. She is a member of the Malang’s Saturday Group of Artists and the chair of Kulay Marikina, a local artists’ group.

In “Kinang”, Morada employs his surrealism to depict nude women and children donning flamboyant clothes with glittering fabrics, a commentary on materialism.

“While other people interpret it in a way that the clothes are the treasure, in reality it is the one wearing it who is more important,” Morada said. A painting, “Silver Blanket,” depicts a solemn nude woman covered only with a glittering blanket in an olive green background.

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Abrigo’s “Indeterminacy” is a juxtaposition of grotesque characters against a modernist architectural background. “The characters in the painting represent the effect of mass-consumerism, globalization, pornography and a commerce-centric society,” Abrigo said.

In “Outer Intercourse IV,” Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and a woman with a disfigured face are integrated. “My style seeks to break away from conventional forms of art,” Abrigo said, explaining his integration of graffiti and street art in his paintings.

Torres’ “Allegory” relives the political struggles of Filipinos, from their anti-colonial revolutions to their fight against the Marcos’ dictatorship. “When I Grow Up” is a lampoon of the educational system in the Philippines—it presents a poorly maintained classroom where students are dressed up in their dream professions. The lavish use of imagery and detailed expressions of the subjects in the paintings are apparent, and the larger-than-life paintings will make viewers feel as if they are part of the canvas.

As the four artists provide their distinct interpretations of the ever fascinating subject of humanity, their differing styles only go to show how multi-faceted life is.


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