Unpublished Press Release: Geronimo Cristobal Opens Third Solo Show in Light & Space Contemporary

Geronimo Cristobal Opens Third Solo Show in Light & Space Contemporary

MANILA – April 7, 2015/ Geronimo Cristobal opens his third solo show, “Geronimo Cristobal: Paintings and Collages” on April 16, 2015, 6 PM in Light & Space Contemporary, and will be on view until June 16, 2015. His show revolves around the concept of a palimpsest, which is a manuscript page from a scroll or a book, wherein the text has been scraped or washed off, so that the page can be reused.

Like a palimpsest, Cristobal reworks images of the Crystal Arcade in Escolta to create new pieces of art. Andres Luna, son of Juan Luna, designed this building, which housed the Manila Stock Exchange. It was destroyed in the Battle of Manila. In the notion of destruction of the most modern prewar building, he draws upon “the phantoms of violence and creates faint evocative presences”. His works are named from lines and characters from Don Quixote. Here, he intertwines text and images, bringing to life verses to their visual form, as he did in a past group exhibition “Las Rimas”, wherein he made works of art inspired by lines of poetry from the last Filipino poet who wrote in Spanish, Flavio Zaragoza Cano.

“Like choosing which flavor of ice cream to choose when all they really have is chocolate”, Cristobal mixes traditional and industrial materials to form collages and art abstractions. He plays with oil on canvas with cement, automotive paint, adhesives, and varnishes to get the look that he wants. He is not constrained nor is he restricted and instead allows himself to make detours along the way to produce high modernist art, wherein the artist is seen as an outsider, and art as a spiritual experience. Accidental compositions and chemical combinations star in his abstract paintings. The audience is then invited to decipher the works’ meanings and convince themselves that they are right. Influenced by abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Elizabeth Bishop, and different art theorists, he crafts images of religious history such as passages from Babylon, the kingdoms of ancient India, and paganism.

Geronimo Cristobal, a painter, curator, and writer, was born in the Philippines on December 1986. His inclination to art started when he was about six years old, when he read the profile of famous painters from an encyclopedia his father gave to him. A portrait of a vagabond carrying a sitar on his back, hung on the wall of their piano room. To this day, he thinks of this painting when he starts a new piece. He finished with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines in 2011, and is currently taking Master of Arts in Art History at the same university. He also took fellowships in the 1st J. Elizalde Navarro National Fellowship for Art Criticism in 2009 and Curatorial Research in Berlin, Germany in 2011. He also had his studio residency at Light & Space Contemporary in 2012-2013. He has participated in group shows in multiple galleries and museums in the Philippines and abroad. His first solo show “Format” was in Light & Space Contemporary in 2013, followed by “Works 2010-2012” in the same gallery. In 2008, he was a finalist in the Honorado Fernandez Award for Architecture Criticism in UP Diliman, and in 2009, in the Shell National Students Art Competition in the Oil/Acrylic Category. In 2010, he was a semi-finalist in the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Award in the Oil/Acrylic Category. He has curated numerous shows locally and internationally and is the current curator and co-director at Light & Space Contemporary. He has also lectured on networking, literature and Philippine art history, here and overseas.

Light & Space Contemporary is located at 53 Fairlane Street, West Fairview, Quezon City and is open 10 AM – 5 PM on Mondays to Saturdays, and on Sundays by appointment. For inquiries please contact (0917) 893 3526/(0917) 388 8714 or email info@lightandspacecontemporary.com.

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