Roel Obemio’s ‘Homage 2’ at ManilART
(The Philippine Star) - October 5, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In February of last year, Roel Obemio gained acclaim for an exhibition that demonstrated the development of his oeuvre through a homage series of famous works done in his own style. Through this series, Obemio not only studied the aesthetic characteristics of paintings such as Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss,” but he also researched the profiles of each artist, and their respective places in art history. Obemio’s Homage series was done in the spirit of Renaissance masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo who likewise took inspiration from the artistic legacy of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Needless to say, Obemio’s series won the artist increased critical and commercial attention — so much, in fact, that the artist has revisited this approach in his latest exhibition at ManilART 2015, “Homage 2,” organized by Galerie Francesca. In this exhibition, other famous works undergo Obemio’s aesthetic treatment of volumic figurations reminiscent of Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Volume is a device Obemio uses to lend gravitas to the reality of his vision. But Obemio’s secondary use of this artistic device is to tinge his works with nostalgia. This is readily apparent in “Homage 2,” where it seems Obemio is channeling the masters themselves in creating these fascinating works.

The paintings on display are fanciful images that are accessible to everyone. The fundamental skill of Obemio, as he shows in this exhibit, is his ability to grasp the spirit of the artist with his paintings. For instance, he does not merely render a large Tahitian girl in his homage to Paul Gauguin’s “The Girl with a Fan,” but he understands the nuances of Gauguin’s brand of Primitivism, working with tropical colors and swaths of hues in this depiction. Conversely, he renders Vermeer’s famous “Milkmaid” in the artist’s trademark realism, punctuated by a sensitivity of light and shadow.

This approach shows that Obemio, while already achieving so much in his career, is also continuously developing as both an artist and a student of life. In “Homage 2,” his 8th solo exhibition, Roel Obemio takes his place as the inheritor of a proud tradition, even as he looks beyond to the endless possibilities of the future.

“Homage 2” will be on display in Booth A10 at ManilART 2015 from Oct. 8 to 11 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. For information, contact Galerie Francesca at (632) 659-2667 and (632) 570-9495, or email galeriefrancesca001@yahoo.com.ph and galeriefrancesca.mega@gmail.com, or visit www.galeriefrancesca.com.

ACIRC ARTIST BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY BUT OBEMIO CONVENTION CENTER FERNANDO BOTERO GALERIE FRANCESCA GREEKS AND ROMANS GUSTAV KLIMT OBEMIO ROEL OBEMIO
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