‘Downpour’ at 371
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Francis Bejar, Chalk Zaldivar and the Gerilya art group explore the space between the ethereal and the metaphysical at the inaugural exhibition of 371 Art Space at The Collective complex in Makati.
In “Downpour,” these artists answer the metaphysical question of what lies between the real and unreal through a mixed-media presentation of flat paper, wood and canvas works and installation pieces. From the flow of these artists, the conceptual nous of reality and dream are explored through their shared perplexity.
Bejar, winner in both the sculpture and painting categories of the Shell National Student’s Art competition, works with a frame of a world diluted by media images.
Using familiar images derived from local pop culture, Bejar exacts the skilled brushwork. He successfully blends figure and surrounding patterns revealing the enticements of a painter who wants to both disclose his message and be absurd about them.
Zaldivar’s acrylic paintings on wood panel link art and childhood in powerfully imaginative manner. At once cool and miserable, his illustrations of men and women in patterned robes or suits suggest a profound doubt into commonly held belief that viewers get to know artists through their works.
Zaldivar’s brand of pop-culture imagery eludes the stiffening action that fuels Japanese Manga comics, or even the stills chosen by the likes of Yoshitomo Nara, Warhol and Lichtenstein. His works in this exhibition, for instance, are spare drawings done with a palette of pale colors. One may read his works as harmless kindergarten décor or as slightly monstrous and disturbing. The cartoony figures and confining dumbness of his imagery are aimed at producing a subtle destabilizing effect of anxiety. Zaldivar’s works have been finalists at the Shell National Student’s Art Competition.
Gerilya is a six-artist collective formed in 2008. Its three original members, Jano, Kube and Zap, hail from the College of Fine Arts at University of the Philippines. Gerilya is involved in various experimental ventures such as comics, street art, graffiti animation, fine-art exhibitions and illustration commissions. Their work is inspired by Philippine culture and history, exploring socio-political issues and national identity. They seek to make their art as relevant as possible by drawing influences from Philippine popular and mass culture.
371 Art Space is at The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Village, Makati City; tel. 7278182; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.371artspace.com. Exhibit runs until Dec. 29.