THE dictionary defines “bliss” as joy, contentment and is generally associated with peace of mind and happiness. The latest one-man show of the artist Fernando Modesto features a collection of paintings that seem to be overflowing with euphoria, delight and rapture. The effervescent feeling is on full display in his paintings Stravinsky’s Angels with a group of faceless and wingless creatures with arms outstretched and ready to take flight. His colors are bright and happy in the landscape Cannes 2, one of his happy places according to the artist. One can feel the lightness in the colors of the scene viewed from the top. Paris, his angel-character named after the City of Lights, makes an appearance in this show with Modesto’s oil painting, titled I Love You Paris, with masks and faces in bright colors floating in a background of dappled yellow, blue, red dots and dashes.
Modesto’s pieces for this show, his first this year, depict some religious themes. Religion was often featured in his previous works showing angels, buddha faces and, for this exhibit, one big painting, titled Mary, has the serene face of our Lady in a corner in a canvas full of cool impressionist strokes in many shades of blue.
In an article in Kulay Diwa’s web site: “Modesto attempts to raise this veil of so-called mystery, not as much as to reveal the mechanics of this deception, but rather to affirm this submission as a needful tactic of faith, to believe what one sees, or rather what he believes to be seeing.” An enigmatic piece, titled Eye, playfully uses an artist palette transformed into an all-knowing eye staring at the viewer. One almost expects it to wink the way the artist winks when he laughs and provokes his audience.
The collection also includes seven lithographic prints created by the artist during his two-year stint in London at the Saint Martin Central School of Art. The prints are full of joyful scenes of bright colors and pop images of Mickey Mouse, Dracula’s face in yellow, his spinning signature tops, luscious lips and even what looks like a “twerking ass” (foreshadowing Miley Cyrus’s signature act many decades later).
Art critic and book author Cid Reyes mentioned this whimsical side of Modesto in his review of
the artist’s work: “Since Fernando Modesto burst in the art scene in 1977, his one abiding quality has been irreverence, but irreverence laced with zaniness and hilarity.”
Fernando Modesto spent his formative years at the College of Fine Arts in the University of Santo Tomas, and went on further studies at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London on a scholarship grant by The British Council. He has also been awarded the 13 Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and won the top prize for printmaking by the Art Association of the Philippines in 1998. His works have been exhibited extensively internationally since the 1970s.
Modesto has been in the Philippine art scene since the late-1960s with his colorful persona, loud laughter and overall irreverent art.
His latest one-man show at the Globe Art Gallery, Globe Tower in Bonifacio Global City, features his paintings and lithographic prints. His art continues to be bring joy, wit and humor.
This is Modesto’s first show in 2018 and is on view until May 18 at Globe Art Gallery, located at The Globe Tower, 32nd Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
For more information, contact 523-3331 or www.hiraya.com.