Painted rants

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Monday, July 7, 2014

" THE government stinks with too much political noise and Filipinos, even the non-hardcore activists, can’t help but raise an eyebrow."

What the mouth can’t say, the hands relay. Wyndelle Remonde is not apathetic at all with the recent social problems besetting the nation as he talks about graft and corruption, pork barrel scam and territorial acquisitions in his latest collection, “Talk To My Hand,” “The Bird,” “Invasion” and “Disguise.” Instead of displaying rage on the streets, he comes ranting with a bag of colors and imagination.

A graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in studio arts at the University of the Philippines Cebu, the 27-year-old visual artist from Argao is a resident contributor of Qube Gallery, front-lining the local art space’s roster of novel bunch tagged as “Rising Stars.” The young hand is also a member of local art organizations, Pusod and Koliktib-Koliktib.


In his new set of works, there’s more to Remonde’s signature eye candy and comical approach than meets the eye.

The redundancy of national issues is exposed in the travesty of his creations without even a hint of trepidation. Depicting social realism via pop-graphics, Remonde wanted to paint awareness in the society, hoping to awaken the sleeping people who are oblivious (or indifferent) about the country’s current affairs.

Remonde can paint and complain at the same time. His previous achievements can attest to that. In 2005, he snagged the coveted first prize of the venerable Jose T. Joya Awards. He was only a sophomore then. The winning piece, aptly entitled “Low Tide,” was produced out of sand, pebbles and fish bones glued into canvass using resin. The possible extinction of marine species due to man’s abuse of aquatic resources surfaced as the message of the entry. Remonde became a regular Joya finalist in 2006, 2007 and 2013. This year’s piece “#ThrowbackThursday” also landed him on the finalists list.

Being an apprentice of his father, who is also an artist, Remonde learned to draw at an early age. His development was later infused with the methods of college mentors and foreign art icons in the likes of Andy Warhol, David Choe, James Jean, Robert Williams and painting.

Defining his art as pop-graphical, Remonde circulates around the confines of pop art and graphics; prime tool of trade is paint, sometimes silk-screen printing. His exposure to what would become his scope stretched from working once as book illustrator to designing tees freelance.

In a scene of masterminds, pros and amateurs, Remonde is encouraging the essence of comradeship for players not to be caught in the perplexity of theories, competition and crab mentality.

For instance, Remonde asserts that being a young artist himself doesn’t limit his competence in an industry congested by influential, rooted players.

“Young artists are more energetic, hungry and playful with ideas. These should not be lost to intimidation,” he underlined.

As Remonde would paint it, artists should look at the bigger picture. Fresh outputs, frequent exhibits and constant exchange of ideas will distend and keep the local art domain alive. At the end of the day, the artists themselves are the beneficiaries of art’s boom. To be vigilant with the trend.

To be not so cynical with what’s going on in the community. These, to Remonde, are initiatives that can be great sources of inspiration to paint.

“As much as there’s future in making art, there’s also future in believing that change is possible in the government. On our part as artists, we are to do something, at least–to express, captivate and educate through our craft, that is,” Remonde posed a challenge.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 08, 2014.


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