GREEN THUMBS & MINDS

Town & Country (Philippines) - - OUT & ABOUT -

There’s a twin bill of con­tem­po­rary artists at the Pinto Gallery this month as Lena Cobang­bang and Jayson Oliv­e­ria un­veil their lat­est solo works. “Pri­mal Green” is Cobang­bang’s meditation on the ephemeral na­ture of the world, re­flected in the “with­er­ing and re­new­ing” of her sub­ject mat­ter. In her vi­brant wa­ter­color paint­ings, Cobang­bang, a mem­ber of the “Bas­tards” col­lec­tive led by Manuel Ocampo, seeks to “evoke Edenic ideals lost… fraught with para­noia, as it teeters on the edge of the un­tamed wild and civ­i­liza­tion.” For in­spi­ra­tion, the 41-year-old artist, a re­cip­i­ent of the Cul­tural Cen­ter of the Philip­pines’ Thir­teen Artists award in 2006, looked to Edouard Manet’s Im­pres­sion­ist mas­ter­piece, Le Dé­je­uner sur l'herbe, while also bor­row­ing themes found in Richard Har­ris’ ver­sion of the song “MacArthur Park,” a lament on lost or dying love. In “Long Time No See” Oliv­e­ria brings a more light­hearted touch to his art, known for its of­ten shock­ing themes soft­ened with a hu­mor­ous ap­proach. The 43-year-old artist loads his can­vases with vis­ual puns, sug­ges­tive themes, dou­ble-en­ten­dre, and sca­tol­ogy, as well as a healthy dose of gal­lows hu­mor thrown in for good mea­sure. In his work, how­ever, there is al­ways the element of truth, “an ob­ser­va­tion we make in our head but can­not say out loud.” For this ex­hibit, Oliv­e­ria, also a mem­ber of the elite cir­cle of CCP Thir­teen Artists awardees, called on what the show’s notes re­fer to as the 10 muses of po­etry: “Miss Hear­ing, Miss Un­der­stand­ing, Miss Trans­lat­ing, Miss Man­ag­ing, Miss Lay­ing, Miss Lead­ing, Miss Read­ing, Miss Ap­pro­pri­at­ing Cliches, Miss Plac­ing Ob­jects, and Miss Guided Thoughts at In­ap­pro­pri­ate Times (es­pe­cially in church or in fu­ner­als).” June 11 to July 2, Pinto Gallery, Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Road, An­tipolo; 697.1015.

FLORA & FAUNA Clock­wise from left: The in­vi­ta­tions to the Pinto Gallery show; un­ti­tled works by Lena Cobang­bang.

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