The roster of artists currently on display at West Gallery is infinitely interesting. Veering away from the typical four-show format, there were five solo exhibitions on display, with one show leaking out of Gallery two into the open space by the food. On Thursday, I experienced everything from talent envy to hoarse voice syndrome, having had to shout at Iris (sorry, Iris!) because of the music from Romeo Lee’s exhibit courtesy of one Jay Taruc.
I hadn’t been out to view exhibits in a while, but on that day, I remembered how fun it was to just mill around and talk to people, to look around and munch on free food—and drink alcoholic beverages your parents bought for other people.
Annie Cabigting’s Dietro Mona Lisa
Two paintings of the backs of the famed Mona Lisa, echoing works that I most know from Annie Cabigting. I’m a big fan of her “back portraits,” where she paints the backs of people who are looking for things. Nothing much else to say about this show that’s not already apparent from the photographs, but I do like it because it’s cheeky, well-rendered, and isn’t a great departure from the works of hers that had been familiar to me.
The history geek in me loves the idea of speculations of two Mona Lisas (which explains the two works), and I love that she painted both.
Sarah Geneblazo’s Escape
The surprise of the night was Sarah Geneblazo, whose work I first saw that night. Escape is comprised of four gorgeous, reworked renditions of photographs by Brooke Shaden, made as an expression of release from a sexual harrassment incident last year. (source). I was immediately drawn to the eerie and mysterious mood of the pieces, three of which featured women with partially obscured faces, enveloped in darkness.
When I went to look at them up close, it was also a powerful feeling, even though they towered above me. I love that it’s a narrative; that it talks about experiencing pain and the eventual letting go of it. Sarah’s also very talented—obviously—which, I think, really adds to the power of these pieces. Escape is both gripping and enthralling, an exciting first solo show by a very talented artist. Looking forward to seeing more of her work.
This is my favorite of hers. I think it has to do with this little detail…
… Imagine being inexplicably moved by a painting of a knee! I’ve always had trouble painting things that gradually faded into black, so this was such a joy to see and observe. Sorry; I really enjoy small details like this.
Ronald Achacoso’s untitled exhibit is a collection of old collages, featuring an encyclopedic selection of images superimposed on abstract paintings.
Romeo Lee’s It’s More Fun in the Phileeppines
Romeo Lee’s exhibit definitely lived up to its name. It was so fun to see his works. I can’t believe how prolific he is; I don’t know how he can make so much art because he’s always out and about, but there you go. It really seems like ideas and images just spill out of his head and onto the canvas. It’s thrilling to see his work, especially altogether. It’s such a random collection of images, and it really does seem that you are seeing the world through his eyes.
While he works primarily in color, this black-and-white illustration on the wall is so striking and so grotesquely beautiful, a number of people have expressed the desire to bring the wall down.
Sam Kiyoumarsi’s White Suprematist Kills Brown Recluse
For White Suprematist Kills Brown Recluse, Sam Kiyoumarsi alters photographs from magazines, taking away from images by drawing and painting over them. It’s a monochromatic show, a display of blacks, whites, and greys. There is still a dynamic energy present in the pieces, perhaps lent by the brisk strokes of ink. It’s an interesting idea, especially with the non-photographic elements, but I’m a big fan of Sam’s photos and would have liked to have seen more of them.
All shows are on display at West Gallery until May 14, 2012.
48 West Avenue, Quezon City
Open: Monday-Saturday, 9am – 6pm