Mario Parial’s ‘Painted Photographs’ tackle contemporary folk spirituality

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THE PAINTER as photographer

The early Mario Parial I know is the one who did the shows  “Maskara” (1992) and “Tres Marias” (1993).

His latest profile includes  genre works such as “Ligawan,” “Simbang Gabi” and “Pahiyas.”

An art critic has noted the fecundity of the artist’s reinvention of folk images: “It is as if Parial were delighting at peeling layer after layer of the folk sensibility, in his now distinctive style of figuration.”

The University of Santo Tomas Fine Arts graduate has taken a respite from painting and printmaking to pursue his love for photography.

His exhibit  “The Peripatetic Process of Parial’s Painted Photographs” runs in Galerie Francesca (ArtWalk, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong) until Sept. 23.

In “Mother and Child,”  Parial has two photos of mothers feeding their babies, with Jesus carrying the cross as backdrop.

“MOTHER & Child

In “The Kiss,” devotees are praying before Christ on the Cross. One devotee is kissing the bloodied palm of the holy image.

In “Secret Text,” a young man faces a wall with assorted lines while he’s feverishly texting.

Parial  says us  images of folk spirituality in a contemporary setting.

“Secret Text”

Parial says he got interested again in photography after learning how to shoot with digital camera. “I also  decided to continue my study on  different types of analog camera and  film qualities, including black-and-white color layer.”

Parial says he still takes pictures and develops them the old way. He got fresh stocks of film  from Hong Kong and Singapore where, believe it or not, they’re still available.

For now, he still considers himself a student of photography, doing experiments and enjoying the creative process immensely.

“I try not to be too technical in these photographic pieces,” Parial says. “Art pieces rendered by a visual artist are just another form of art expression.”

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