Ernie Patricio celebrates 72 years with ‘Rekorida’

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Rekorida (pangngalan): distansiyang nilalakbay o dinadaanan kapag palagiang naglalakbay
– UP Diksyonaryong Filipino, 2001

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‘Untitled,’ watercolor on paper, 15.5 x 11.5 inches

Reminiscences, anecdotal recollections and aspirations set the tone for “Rekorida: 72 at 72.”

A celebration of Ernesto “Ernie” Patricio’s life and works, the exhibit presents a covetable collection of artworks spanning his prolific artistic journey; a selection of 72 pieces, to be exact, to mark his 72nd year.

72 works. 72 years. That’s more than seven decades of mindful journey, where Patricio draws from, quite literally, stories close to him to tell—a plethora of deeply-rooted experiences: diaspora, poverty, freedom, even nostalgia; in a platform best expressed by his brushes, inks and paints.

Palpable longings brought about by years of being an OFW and battling cancer, internal musings interspersed with tensions and social commentary on relevant and errant socio-political policies, and day-to-day grim realities, punctuate his works.

‘Salvage,’ oil on canvas, 70 x 61 inches (2013)

His media are as diverse as his impassioned ruminations—shifting from the industrial ink of the comic world to rough strokes and vibrantly colored illustrations, to profoundly moving watercolor bursts, to haunting acrylics, all of which are conduits of his manifold talent and expert manipulation of each medium and technique.

“Each of Patricio’s works is a vessel: he transports us to different locales and contexts he himself have experienced, and which are also part our collective memory and community. His sojourns, as much as ours, are not separate, rather are located on the same thread, same breadth of life,” shares guest curator, Frani Madrid.

The (oftentimes, melancholic) Manila watercolors, painted plain air, bespoke of an almost bygone time for today’s generation of #insta; his streetscapes’ depiction of street dwellers are commonplace to one’s daily commute; the heroism of (seemingly un) popular historical figures Princess Urduja, Macario Sakay and the various comic illustrations he created for DC Comics, Liwayway and other publication, to his canvasses of egregious abuses of human rights; beyond frivolity, these works echo his conviction of a just and humane community for all.

‘Mabuti Pa ang Manok Dinadasalan,’ oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches (2017)

“His perceptions of the lived world are highly intuitive due to a heightened sensitivity to his surroundings and community. Each work beckons his audience to cogitate on the community at large, dilute their obstinate perspectives and thus open dialogues for opinion. Discordant and difficult, indeed, but such is a needed cacophony for change. His incessant hope for a bright future, an impartial community for all, permeates and transcends all his works, almost leaping off the frames,” Madrid, further noted

“Through my works, I hope for people to stop, look around and realise the joyous and tragic beauties of our country today,” Patricio muses. In such a tumultuous climate such as ours today, isn’t this what we all seek?

‘Bakwhit,’ oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches (2017)

The exhibit run until October 21 at the vMeme Art Gallery, second floor or Commercenter, Ayala Alabang.

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