Quezon City, Philippines
About Geronimo Cristobal
Born in 1986 in Manila, Philippines. Works as a painter and writer in Manila and was based for some time in Berlin, Germany. He works in themes of memories, transformation, and extinction, and touches on the violent political history of the Philippines. Cristobal finished with a degree in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and is currently taking up an MA in Art History.
Geronimo Cristóbal’s paintings and collages grapple with reflections over impermanence and ruin. They are re-compositions of images of transition; employing a methodology primarily one of problem solving and derivation. In his multi-layered collages, He digitally manipulates photographs of existing collages and reprints them before rearranging manually on canvas. Fine details are sometimes blemished or sacrificed until the final composition has reached a more forceful and complex appearance. In some of his works, he has taken on the works of Edouard Manet, Franz Kline, Kurt Schwitters, and Hanna Höch. Illegible layers of spray painted scrawls and line drawing peer through a more prevailing foreground of wide and subdued color fields, under layered by architectonic structures. These fields of color are interrupted by smaller gestures and eccentric form. His work has a palimpsest effect, where layers of images and writings bleed through the final layers of paint and collage, giving the artist canvas the function of an ancient scribe’s tablet. The buildings, are a symbol of abandonment, but also of social function and power, here they are defined purely from their facades, as objects or as images. This purely formal concept is in turn counteracted by the literary components. The images of ruin after World War II of the Post Office building is entitled “Colossus” while the Central Methodist Church is called “Ecclesiastes.” Both works reference passages from ancient texts. One work combines a disfigured image of a demolished Binondo noodle house with a Kurt Schwitter’s collage.
With this exhibition, FORMAT, created sporadically over the course of three years (2010-2013), the artist attempts a related approach to abstract painting and collage. The nuanced emulsion glazes, the object-like wholeness of his collages, give way to a more fragmented surface structure. He defines this process of creation and destruction as a conceptual preservation of ruined forms by traversing seemingly disparate landmarks in a highly cryptic, almost ambiguous, perception of time and historical events. – DS
Carlos Reid, M.B.A., M.S. & M.O.T.
THE CARLOS REID GALLERY
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