For a staunch Social Realist artist such as Emmanuel Garibay, venturing into other genres such as the still life could provide the necessary artistic distance as preparation fortackling urgent themes. In this triptych that features the knife-like blooms of the birds-of-paradise, Garibay devoted the full extent of his abilities to evoke the wildness and the beauty of these flowers. Through eloquent coloration and juxtaposition of organic svelte shapes, this work proves that this is no finger exercise but a full-bodied work that enables the viewer to access Garibay’s multi-layered talent. This is a depiction of the flora that is wild, ecstatic, and unapologetic in its prodigious growth aEven way back college at the University of the Philippines-College of Fine Arts, Jeona Zoleta was already creating waves in visual arts that viewers could not help but look. She is one of the youngest artists to have won both the Ateneo Art Awards and the Thirteen CCP Artists Awards — arguably the two most important honors for young and mid-career artists.
Her paintings are in-your-face depictions of a surreal world replete with sexual overtones, no doubt an exploration into the subconscious and the imagination of the artist as a woman.
In Street Trash Unicorn, we see the putative mythical animal fornicating with a figure bearing a cross on its forehead, a devil/angel bearing a kitschy sign, a dangling pair of strappy heels, against violet churning clouds. What could it possibly all mean? Perhaps, one way to approach Zoleta’s work is to bypass interpretation and zero in on one’s visceral, emotional response. How does one feel towards this painting? In doing so, the viewer is able to look into her sense of discomfort, fear, and panic and analyze how these feelings — aside from others — shape, regulate, and prompt one’s reality. Our judgment also relies on our basic instinct and this what a work by Zoleta, which more than meets the eye, activates.nd blossoming.