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Saturday, February 4, 2012

FROZEN ACTUALITIES


Rachel Rillo's FROZEN ACTUALITIES Opening on February 9, Thursday at silverlens

In the early 19th c., photography was a way for painters to record still life tableaux, with the intention to paint these later on as realistically as possible. Two centuries later, photorealistic painting is still de rigueur in the Philippines, with photography still taking a backseat to its canvas cousin.

Rachel Rillo does something beautiful with paint, and with photography. Taking objects with shapes all too familiar, she paints a coat of white acrylic over them. These painted forms—an erasure of identity or, alternately, a masking of meaning— she photographs repeatedly against a brown pigment wall. The fissures and cracks in the wall show, witness to time, while the bottles and balls, figures and objects are stripped of scale, duration, and technology. Sunlight wraps around her objects, allowing shadows to fall as they do.

Akin to Morandi’s still life paintings, these are simple photographs. But they are by no means naïve. “The sifting process enables the generation of a new image, one that is estranged, and somehow more sublime, than its original source”, Rillo says.

Rachel Rillo’s Frozen Actualities opens on February 9, 2012 at Silverlens Gallery, simultaneously with Carlos Celdran’s Livin' La Vida Imelda at SLab and Lui Medina’s ASCETICS(UNBOUND) in 20Square. All shows run until March 10, 2012.

Words by Isa Lorenzo; Image: Rachel Rillo, She Sells, 2012

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