Symbolic realism of Joel Chavez | Inquirer Lifestyle
"AMERICAN Gothic"

Symbolic realism of Joel Chavez

"AMERICAN Gothic"
“AMERICAN Gothic”

ITALIAN Caravaggio and Dutch Johannes Vermeer, both Renaissance masters of light and shadow are strong influences to the art of contemporary Philippine artist Joel Chavez.

The 24-year-old artist, a product of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), will be holding his first solo exhibit, “Redeeming the Rebirth,” on Aug. 12-22 at Art Underground in Mandaluyong City.

The visual compositions of Chavez’s paintings reflect the nuances of Vermeer and the symbolisms of Caravaggio.

"THE CRYPTIC Delight of Mademoiselle"
“THE CRYPTIC Delight of Mademoiselle”

Though still young, Chavez demonstrates maturity, depth and self-control. Each painting has strong linkages to the artist. “Symmetry of Glamour,” for instance, symbolizes the detachment between outward appearances and inward beauty. As “eyes are windows to the soul,” Chavez puts a diamond across the eyes of the woman to portray the beauty within.

“Solemnity of an Aristocrat” has a red dot painted on the nose of a well-dressed turbaned man-equating wealth to aristocrats as almost as important as breathing.

"PLAYFUL Charm"
“PLAYFUL Charm”

This richness of characters, combined with a superb technique, marks Chavez as a painter to watch for.

 Art Underground is at 814 Balagtas St., Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. Call 7210745, 0917-5237463; e-mail artundergroundmanila@gmail.com.