Deal­ing with the in­vis­i­ble

BusinessMirror - - Art - JT NISAY jt­

ASTRONG sense of aber­ra­tion per­sists nearly seven months into the “new nor­mal.” Not in any way does this im­ply that a daily global death toll in the thou­sands from an air­borne dis­ease should feel ev­ery­day by now nor ever, only that our present liv­ing con­di­tions still de­mand some get­ting used to even af­ter what feels like in equal parts an eter­nity and an in­stant.

No mat­ter our in­di­vid­ual ad­just­ments, how­ever, there seems to be a great deal of dread felt by ev­ery­one. The men­tal strain, the fi­nan­cial hit, the emo­tional toll—all of it and more are the points of con­tem­pla­tion in Kaida Con­tem­po­rary’s new pair of shows that opened over the week­end.

One is a solo ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing Mark Ar­camo, a painter noted for his tex­tured play on ge­o­met­ri­cal forms and asym­met­ri­cal shapes that carves depth in both aes­thetic and mes­sage. It’s a three-di­men­sional style that works per­fectly in his new show, ti­tled Gain­ing Ground.

Ar­camo vi­su­al­izes the lay­ered frus­tra­tions and dis­ap­point­ments of the hu­man mind over the last few months, along with the search for some­thing sta­ble to hold on to at a time when ev­ery­thing seems to be any­thing but.

The artist’s lat­est works for the show are also im­bued with a mes­sage of hope. To­gether with the busy lines that zig and zag across the can­vass are images that are defined, al­beit in­com­plete, as if these were puz­zle pieces now scram­bled but need­ing only the right time and set of hands to be pieced to­gether and made whole again.

Mus­ings on the global health cri­sis ex­tend to Kaida’s sec­ond show, ti­tled Present Tense, which is a three-man group ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing Nick Navarro, Od­din Sena and Jone Sibugan. The trio draw on their own ex­pe­ri­ences and ways to cope with the pan­demic.

In Send­ing Failed, Navarro por­trays a dim gallery setup fea­tur­ing a framed de­pic­tion of the Google T-rex on one wall, and a TV sig­noff and static screens on an­other. Per­haps the piece sym­bol­izes tech­no­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tions, de­void of hu­man el­e­ments, fail­ing to es­tab­lish gen­uine con­nec­tion.

Mean­while, Sena’s works are re­flec­tions of the artist’s stint in bi­cy­cle de­liv­ery ser­vice. His acrylic paint­ings carry the ti­tles, such as Jam­packed, On the Way and Wait­ing.

Fi­nally, Sibugan’s oil-on-can­vas cre­ations fea­ture fig­ures that melt into their back­grounds, much like how re­al­i­ties have in the past months.

Phys­i­cal view­ing of Gain­ing Ground and Present Tense begins to­day, Oc­to­ber 6, at Kaida Con­tem­po­rary in Que­zon City. The shows run un­til Oc­to­ber 19.

Ex­cess ad­mi­ra­tion, Mark Ar­camo, 2020, acrylic on can­vas, 48”x36”

I am, but not your only Truth, Jone Sibugan, 2020, oil on can­vas, 36”x24”

Send­ing Failed, Nick Navarro, 2020, acrylic and cal­cium car­bon­ate on can­vas, 24”x36”

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