2 exceptional Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now

July 2, 2021



Daniel Lampa

Art connoisseur, Daniel Lampa tied up this weekend’s must see art events at Blanc Gallery

“Twenty Five Hours” by Richard Quebral

Richard Quebral’s symbolic works usually show slices of domestic life in his community using bright colors and unexpected textures.

Born in 1989 and a former licensed nurse, Quebral has always been inspired by the rich culture and way of life in the small town in Ilocos where he grew up.

As noted by Princess Neptalia Quebral on Blanc Gallery’s website:

“25 Hours” showcases a piece of story about the life of ‘locals’. It features a unique scene in the neighborhood. A genuine collection of folks from different walks of life had stirred the artist to understand the way they mingle. “Gossiping”— a gizmo of the ‘locals’ to spread juicy news and information became a part of the culture. It is essentially one of the societal forces that brings them together and helps preserve social order when used in a good way.”

“In this exhibition, the artist made use of watch, sunglasses, vintage gadgets and antennas as parts of his subject. These are symbolic items that fascinated him to accomplish the art pieces in a humorous way. Tropical trees are likewise performed which are figurative descriptions of rest, entertainment and shed of the folks during their mid-afternoon ‘sessions’ in the neighborhood.”

“The paintings are showcased using colorful palettes. Different mediums such as acrylic on canvas, enamel, old wood, marine plyboard, and colored acrylic glass for the sculpture and installation are executed in a cartoon-like 90s video game images.”

“Gossip is not inherently immoral; it plays an essential role in keeping our society connected. People spread and hear gossips to satisfy their curiosity, to discuss other people’s behavior, or just to chat. It became a good stimulus to relax and cheer up at life. The artist believes that conversing is a part of who we are and a natural characteristic of the species we’ve become.”

“Somber Season” by Kiko Kapile

Visual Artist Kiko Capile has steadily amassed a significant social media following with his stunningly intricate pen-and-ink illustrations.

Kiko acquired his degree in Advertising Arts in 2002 from the Technological University of the Philippines and later on worked as a Senior Graphic Designer for 15 years. It was in 2016 when he started to in 2019, he quit his day job to be a full-time artist.

According to Nikki Ignacio on Blanc Gallery’s Website:

“Somber Season is Kiko Capile’s new series of pen-and-ink portraits on watercolor paper created within February to June 2021. In May, the concept was loosely named after toying with the words “summer” and “somber” in reference to the concurrent season, and how the two words capture how this period is both just that: alarmingly hot, but also giving way to the cold and melancholy—both in more ways than one.”

“Somberness seems to fit right into the profile of pandemic-induced moods, or at least for people who still feel aeons away from any semblance of normalcy. Underneath our respective coping and distraction mechanisms, there remains an underlying ache of longing and mourning over the lives, time, and opportunities we continue to lose to the pandemic—a more muted kind of chaos compared to our initial panic, fear, and confusion at the onset of this ongoing nightmare. In Somber Season, we still see a great deal of that chaos in Capile’s frenetic linework: flesh revealing a writhing mass of tendons and entrails, ethereal patterns, horrific inner worlds, body horror, and disfiguration. But there’s also a more subdued kind of chaos lying underneath seemingly quiet expressions on the character’s faces and poses—much like prolonged internal anguish that tends to be stifled under the surface, but eventually seeping through the cracks anyway.”

“Before the show’s concept was pinned down in writing, Capile was already working on ideas drawn from his mindset at the time. But it wasn’t until he began working on “Burn Out” in May when the concept of the series made itself more clearly known to him. At that time, the heat index in Metro Manila would begin to average 45 degrees Celsius, and it was almost as if the piece personified the sweltering weather, the artist’s own bouts of burnout and somberness, and the collective heat and tension of the times.”

“The inspiration would yield a total of 16 monochromatic-and/or-blood-red illustrations, with subjects in pensive expressions contrasted by disfigurements drawn with the artist’s trademark meticulous attention to detail—almost like classical anatomical illustrations mapping out the artist’s mood and mindset, as expressed by his imagined alter-egos. The images are both gutting and graceful, cathartic and disquieting, honest and haunting. Capile has always been drawn to dark and macabre themes almost out of instinct, and recognizes how the theme can be relatable without trying to be. “I get a lot of comments from my Instagram followers telling me it’s them—what they see in my art. Somehow siguro nakakatulong to cope kasi they won’t feel alone na sila lang nakakaramdam ng ganon during these times,” he said, and noted that he always found the viewers’ varying interpretations to be more interesting than a singular, imposed meaning. He also shared how his own personal season of somberness is marked by the reluctance to feel celebratory (or much of anything else) these days, despite acknowledging how the pandemic has opened up bright spots for him and his art. Perhaps a lot of joys birthed during the pandemic are tinged with this kind of apprehension, and Capile’s uneasiness shows itself through his art.”

“For those discovering Capile’s works online amidst the pretty, filtered, and polished algorithms, they may find his works as either a jarring surprise, or a welcome break of honest pain, terror, and brokenness that tends to be hidden in all-too-polished narratives and success stories. Somber Season continues to tap into this side of our psyche by giving us some visual prompts that help us sit through the darkness, and maybe even nudge us to become friends with it.”

Both Are in display at Blanc Gallery, 145 Katipunan Avenue St. Ignatius Village, Quezon City.

Notes about the Contributor

Daniel Lampa

Art enthusiast and into Fashion, French Culture, Mid-century modern design and spends a lot of his time curating his home in Manila and LA. He lives with his 3 dogs, Coco, Yohji and Junya.

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