The Philippine art scene is thriving. While it has always been rich and vibrant historically, it still continues to grow and evolve in every way imaginable. As time goes by, more talent is discovered, and artists who have only dipped their toes into our art world, so to speak, develop and hone their craft.
One such artist is Chris Verayo, who continues to make a name for himself with his 3rd solo exhibit, entitled “Havoc Amidst a Contemplative Mind.”
33 year old Verayo, born and based in Manila, is, in the context of the masters and even relatively modern but already established institutions in local art, a relative newcomer. He burst onto the scene with his first solo show back in July of 2014. Even then, his signature style was already apparent: despite a variety of subjects and mediums, all of Verayo’s work exudes a certain heaviness and radiates a wild, barely contained (if at all) energy.
“Havoc Amidst a Contemplative Mind”, his latest show, opened last June 1, over at Art Underground in Mandaluyong, and will run for 10 days from the opening. Consistent with his style, Verayo’s newest offerings featured in “Havoc” are no different from his previous work in what they convey: a mix of grimness and strange, bold intensity. However, the works on display cover a broad range of subjects and feelings, and provide insight into the artist’s creative process and mindset. According to the show’s write-up, Verayo was apparently inspired by his observation of a tree near his studio, watching it change and grow over time. All the works displayed were done in enamel on canvas, and range from small, such as the “Shadow Player” series (12×12 inches), to larger pieces, such as “Emboscada” (at 60×48 inches).
Among the pieces on display, the most striking ones to showgoers would probably be the eye-catching “Moment of Impact” and “Crystaline Dreams.” “Moment”’s depiction of a heart is so full of intensity and animation, it nearly looks alive and beating. The lines and colors of the work are akin to pulsating veins in action, showing a decided purpose and direction. “Crystaline Dreams” is macabre yet visually intriguing; a colorful skull brought to life by the brushstrokes going every which way. It’s interesting to see a seemingly expressionless face still convey emotions for the viewer. Another piece on display is the almost purely black and white “Static Syndrome”, which was featured in this year’s Art in the Park.
“Havoc”, overall, is another great look at Verayo’s talent and growth as a local artist. Patrons and fans of his previous work will not be disappointed, and his growing presence in Manila art is definitely opening up horizons for newer artists and art lovers alike.