The First Wave
Young and emerging artists from The Philippines
This exhibition brings together five Filipino artists in an initiation that reinterprets the past and the present in faulty technologies and dystopic futures. Embarking collectively on an exploration of a new artistic locus, the group engages with Milan’s contemporary urban landscape and cultural legacy as each artist introduces his distinct vision and approach to the painted image. Geographic and temporal dimensions coincide, as well as the realms of reality and fiction.
The masterpieces of Italian master Caravaggio are appropriated in several works, where the Milan native’s dramatic staging of moments drawn from Biblical narratives and everyday life are reconfigured using the language of digital reproduction and imagery from consumer culture. We see an image fragmented by bands of colors and pixels reminiscent of defective printing or a glitching screen, while another piece crops a section from a larger paining and blurs it to simulate a digital copy with poor resolution. Some works turn entire scenes into chaotic gatherings or festivities where symbols of global consumerism comingle with Biblical figures. All these interventions revisit a seminal force in Western art from the past, and woven into the visual culture of present-day digital technologies and global economies.
In another strand, modern cities are imagined as futuristic settings in which human perception has been fully controlled by technology, citizens are subjected into omnipresent surveillance, and imposing edifices are linked by networks of wires. Depicted as if in perpetual twilight, we see in these views of the metropolis floating cubes that represent spy cameras, looming over people who are unaware of their presence. Buildings inspired by Milan’s iconic structures become imposing forms set against the dusk sky, connected by cables and with no humans in sight. Despite portraying make-believe scenarios, these works reflect current concerns on privacy in the Internet and social media, and the pandemic situation in which most connections and interactions have been relegated to virtual means.
Ruel Caasi, Curator, Director The Working Animals Art Project (TWA)
About the Artists
Roldan “Manok” Ventura takes interest in accidental formations caused by natural deterioration of surfaces in the urban setting and recently, anomalies arising from the digital reproduction and circulation of images. He creates fresh encounters with works of old masters and pop culture icons through these visual signatures.
Rolando “Olan” Ventura explores subjects from art history and pop culture, and translates these into meticulously crafted, photorealistic compositions that capture the plasticity of forms. His recent interventions take inspiration from the errors of digital printing and glitches in the screens of devices.
Ronson Culibrina’s paintings appear as a frenetic intermingling of images that represents the traffic of cultural influences between the East and West shaped by historical factors and globalization. He is also inspired by social and cultural changes in environments engendered by modernization and industrialization.
Dale Erispe interrogates the role of humanity in transforming nature by portraying urbanscapes dominated by man-made structures but without human presence. In these tranquil depictions of cities, he often suggests the supremacy of nature’s forces over the feats of human civilization.
Keb Cerda integrates the traditional medium of painting with the language of digital and Internet technology. His most recent works draws heavily from science-fiction and center on issues of surveillance, propaganda, and mediated perceptions.
Do not miss the video of the exhibition on our IGTV!!!