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Friday, May 21, 2010

TRES FIGURAS




“The human body is the best picture of the human soul.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

Nothing exemplifies this better than the latest exhibit of Felix Jesus “Ely” Meimban IV, Angelito Balmes and Norlie Meimban.

Entitled “Tres Figuras”, this collection focuses on human interest, with an appreciation on scenes from everyday life. Brought together by their love for figures and painting, this clan of artists came together to make what is now a tribute to the magnificent creation that is humanity, in all its forms.

Each being highly regarded artists in their own right with years of experience under their belts; this exhibit which is a true family affair features a perfect assortment of each of their distinctive style.

Felix Jesus “Ely” Meimban IV, father to Norlie Meimban and father-in-law of Angelito Balmes, follows a more traditional convention. Coming from a family that is deeply immersed in the world of arts, it is no surprise that his interest in painting was sparked early on, even having relatives who have studied under Amorsolo. After working in an ad agency in the 60s, he went on to become a full time artist. Over the years he has continuously and consistently refined his style in oil through group shows and many exhibits. It is truly people that inspire him. Having a very classical approach, he leans towards painting scenes in the 18th century. Favouring earth colors over all others, his timeless and universal scenes of calesas and other rural settings with its quiet way of life brings about wisps of nostalgia.

Angelito Balmes first started learning painting as an apprentice to his father-in –law. Finding his creative well of passion being opened, he has since then never looked back. Also opting to become a full time artist, he has been in the art industry for 18 years now. Having had many group shows his style constantly evolved into what it is now. Vibrant and daring with his color palate with oil as his medium, his style is reminiscent of cubism but altered to become curve thereby creating a style that is uniquely his own. His subjects convey more folk scenes and everyday people doing everyday things such as vendors and fishermen.

Norlie Meimban, like his father and brother-in-law is mostly inclined towards figures. A graduate of University of the Philippines Fine Arts with Major in Painting, the canvas is his first love. He also got involved with work in animation for about 12 years, but in 2000 once again went back to his passion, painting. It was then that he diligently pursued his career as a painter, joining competitions such as that of Metrobank which earned him a place and two honorable mentions. It has also brought him 9 solo exhibits to date as well as international shows in the United States, namely Seattle and California. His medium of choice is a combination of oil and acrylic, and his style is surreal with a twist. This twist came about through incorporating his experience and methods in animation with painting, creating something new and truly innovative. Employing monochromatic and earth colors, the scenes that his works depict are very contemporary and relevant.

With each having their own distinguished career, a group show in 2009 inspired them to make an exhibit of their own bringing together their passion for figures and keeping it all in the family. Thus, “Tres Figuras” came to life.

Through this triumvirate’s singular originality they have managed to make something wholly special. In their own way they managed to give dimension and depth to the world, by employing their own styles and unique way of seeing the world through their subjects, indeed in their skill in painting figures they also paint the human soul.

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