Ambassador and award-winning author Jose Ma. Cariño mounts his first-ever exhibition as a visual artist with his “Alive and Kicking in 2020” show at the lobby of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City.
The exhibit runs until Jan. 15, featured around 40 thought-provoking abstract works which were all done during the lockdown months.
The works are part of about 50 paintings executed in recent months, the product of boredom, according to him, but are actually more expressions of his thoughts on varied subjects such as economics, politics, music and eroticism.
These visually attractive, intellectually considered oeuvres were inspired by his visits to museums all over the world, his experiences in life, his collection of art books and just him being himself—diplomatic, serious, witty.
Conservator and Philippine art heritage advocate Celestino Palma III describes Cariño’s art as lively and full of hope. “Surrounded during many years by the dark works of the 19th-century Filipino masters in his collection and gloom brought by COVID-19, he projects hope, joy and fulfillment in the loud, screaming, and pure colors of his canvases,” Palma said. “An autodidactic and spontaneous artist, his works reflect freedom from the rules and aesthetics of academic art and economic necessities, delivery deadlines and marketability pressures that come from a professional artist,” he added. —CONTRIBUTED