NEOPOPSURREAL DELUXE 2
“Neopopsurreal Deluxe 2.0” at Galerie Roberto
Galerie Roberto presents “Neopopsurreal Deluxe 2.0” featuring the works of 57 artists. The show opens on April 28.
Young, upcoming and established artists promote the awareness of the so-called Philippine Low Brow Style, an antithetical movement positioned against the pretentiousness of High Art.
Participating artists are: Aileen de la Cruz, Amos Malayao, Ben John Albino, Blic, Bon Mujeres, Buhay Mendoza, Carlo Ongchangco, Christine Capili, Denj de la Cruz, Dr. Karayom, Edz calimlim, Ekis da Manace, Eric Fusilero, Ernie Bello, Fhiex Orozco, Frenk Sison, Furr, Insekto, Irish Galon, Jake Catah, Jam Oquina, Japs Apostol, Jaylenver Penafiel, Jeff Reyes, Jehir Pascua, Jessie Mondares, Jharemiah De Leon, Joselito Jandayan, Ken Padlan, Ma Grace Carpizo, Marian Tumulto, Mariel Cruz, Mio Aceremo, Nathaniel Jovero, Neat, Patrick Fernandez, Pemee Legazpi, Quatro Ravalo Los Banos, . R. A. Tijing, Rachel Anne Lacaba, Rafael La Madrid, Rai Cruz, Ralph Epres, Rene Cuvos, Rurik Tabafunda, Ryan Jara, Saya Villacorta, Syn, Teo Alagao, Tyang, Karyel, and Yeng Cruz.
As explicitly stated in the title, the works are impelled by two influential art movements, Pop Art and Surrealism. Both are considered the agent provocateur in the exhibited works, from which are derived their pictorial pleasure, the unexpected suggestive, fantastical imagery, and their contemporary significance.
In 1961, at the height of the era of Pop Art, Claes Oldenburg, who popularized “soft sculpture,” wrote for the catalogue of the show , Environments, Situations, Spaces. The lengthy manifesto-sounding article was titled “Ode to Possibilities.” More than half a century later today, it has survived to distill the essence of what is meaningful art, to wit: “I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.”
Decades back, in 1924, Andre Breton led the Surrealist movement with his own manifesto which defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism” which was in turn derived from the Comte de Lautreamont’s Chante de Maldoror, which produced the classic definition of Surrealism as “the chance encounter on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”
As can be gleaned from some of these rebelling – and reveling – works. Frenk Sison’s “Wonder Wanderer” is a ministering figure to those who are lost at sea, recalling Noah and his ark, escaping from the Deluge. “Mr. Zen, Lord of War” by RA Tijing is a serio-comic military man at peace with his music. Rachel Anne Lacaba’s “Over Thinking” is buried in her thoughts, guarded by her pet black cat, as she dreams of a giant pink bear. Madonna of the Bomb is Ben John Albino’s “For the Satisfaction of the Ungrateful,” a fearsome meditation on nuclear destruction. Blic’s “neopop” is pure innocence, pure surreality of a father and kids on a park bench. Denmark de la Ceuz’s “Excursion” is a fable of a journey astride a toy horse, off to destination unknown. Ernie Bello’s “A Message to the Universe” is Pied Piper with the visage of a hare, blowing musical bubbles. Patrick Fernandez concocts a cyclop with a wandering third eye. Ma Grace Carpizo is ready to “Silence the Noise” of the chatterbox flowers. Marian Tumulto’s “Hopeless Romantic” is in a state of perpetual longing.
How did Pop Art and Surrealism become such compatible bedfellows? Simply by finding a common denominator in the absurdity of contemporary life, in delightful flights of madness from unpleasant reality, in liberating art from the restrictions of convention, authority, and tradition, and really, just by arching one’s eyebrow on what is deemed High Art.