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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ETHEREAL




Ethereal, a poetic Imagination

As he revisits his cartooning roots, visual artist Monnar Baldemor takes off on a flight of fancy, whimsy, and humor in Ethereal, his 6th solo exhibit of paintings from October 8 to 19, 2010 at Galerie Y, SM Megamall.

“I purposely decided to depart from political themes, and just have fun with the medium, along with certain concepts,” Baldemor says. One of the ideas he works his stylistic teeth around is anthropomorphism, or the attribution of human characteristics to living or non-living things, phenomena, and even abstractions.

In “Carabao Dance Revo,” three beasts of burden seemingly celebrate their freedom from work with equally untethered manifestations of glee.

Baldemor gives Boticelli’s classic 15th century “The Birth of Venus” a decidedly and obviously Baldemor twist in “Venus de Milo.”

As most artists, Monnar always keeps an eye on the world, and his ears to the ground. “Surviving the Streets” is sad-humorous commentary on how precariously Filipinos live. A family of four is aboard a small scooter: the mother carries a swaddled infant (in a crib, no less), a child is between her and the father – unperturbed at the handlebars, motoring on as he balances a stereo he is wired to.

Son of prolific, internationally known painter Manuel D. Baldemor, Monnar shares his talent for visual arts, although the two forge divergent stylistic paths.

Monnar’s distorted figures hark back to Salvador Dali, rendered with the same meticulously detailed strokes of Germany’s Ernst Degasperi and anatomical disfigurations of Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch.

What the elder and younger Baldemors share is a preference for, and affinity with, bright pastel colors. Monnar says his palette choices are influenced by Pablo Picasso.

Monnar grew up admiring established cartoonists, particularly Spanish legend Sergio Aragones. “I like the way his cartoons captivate and make you laugh without needing any dialogue,” he says. This same sense of humor Monnar obviously brings to his Ethereal paintings with great success.

Monnar has earned five Jurors’ Choice nods in the prestigious yearly art tilt of the Artist Association of the Philippines. He was also chosen as finalist in the Phillip Morris Group of Companies Philippine Art Awards. Baldemor has worked in the publishing field for almost two decades and maintained cartoon strips for various publications.

He has participated in more than a dozen group exhibitions.

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