A master of the classical form in the contemporary age, Orley Ypon’s works are able to communicate a sense of depth and nuance often attributed to more traditional pieces. A native of Toledo, Cebu, Ypon found his love for the arts at a relatively young age, when he found himself enjoying creating portraits for his family and friends. He then took a couple of semesters at the Cebu Institute of Technology and at the UP Cebu College of Fine Arts but opted to learn about art by himself instead. In 2001, Ypon’s art finally garnered the attention it deserved after the artist won first prize at the Philippine National On-The-Spot painting competition. Ypon also managed to bag the Grand Prize at the Petron National Painting Competition for his work titled Ober-ober in 2001, and then again in 2004 for his work titled Pamaling. In 2011, he was given the Ani Ng Dangal award by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts. Ypon’s practice is often seen as a synthesis of classical modes of painting, and contemporary hyperrealism. This can be observed in the way Ypon creates his scenes, wherein he juxtaposes seemingly hyper-realistic subjects amidst heavily dramatized backdrops and situations. This particular piece by Ypon is emblematic of his iconic style, but can also be seen as a nod to the art of Russian painter Konstantin Makovsky. Ypon’s work features a man in a sitting position with his face facing something slightly away from the viewer and a distinctively red piece of cloth. The work mirrors a series of Makovsky’s works which also feature models, mostly male ones, in different positions, atop of a red piece of cloth. Though the work can be read as a nod, Ypon still manages to express his own individual style through the impeccable sense of detail present in his work. The connection between Ypon’s and Makovsky’s works adds a bit of intertext to the latter’s piece, effectively proving that the artist is not only well-versed in the technical side of his craft, but the context of his passion as well.