April 30 - May 22, 2021
In the Beginning, Again
For his solo exhibition, Reset at the Art Cube Gallery, Lawrence Cervantes, begins at the end. His narrative continues to unravel--where he left off in Take Over.
Starting his plot in his previous exhibition, Origins Cervantes defined his ethereal visual style relegated at an opportune time venturing on an impending apocalypse. Continued in Take Over what he gruesomely reflected ending eternity there, this ongoing organic ambience and eerie presence--when Nature becomes the dominant force left humans wrought in their own misery caused by their own greed and selfish ways.
Cervantes’s works may seem to be somber in tone and loaded with melancholic imagery--somewhat reflective during the intense months of the ongoing pandemic when Cervantes was preparing for them. In these six works, Cervantes heightened the adage that humans can cause their own extinction—we are just part of mortal remains of an existence that replenishes itself.
Reset shows the beauty of the quagmire as his bareness exudes enveloping random eeriness to the viewer in a claustrophobic twist as his story progresses. If Origins focused on the evolving cycles of life, in Take Over, the grim scenario is Nature turned against humans, in fact, it overtook the race by its own consumption leading to our eventual perish. Origins was at the beginning of creation where the plot is reversed in Take Over as people are dissolved and vegetation lush are all that were left. This bleak oversight preoccupies Cervantes’ brushstrokes in Reset as the lopsided world domination in at hand. Humanity is being tipped off the scale.
Free commences as soon as Reset fires off--implying that one must act favorably in his own will in order for harmony to co-existence to reign again. In Free, we surrender at to our own volition and used up our vulnerability and conduct our own mutual transformation—and eventual complete regeneration.
Cervantes approximates a long and arduous time for regeneration to unravel—maybe many lifetimes or even generations over. With Beginning After The End as centerpiece Cervantes displays his creative prowess of how Nature will take its place in the world upon eradication of humanity. In the eventual sprouting of life forms once again, for Cervantes there will be light to initiate it. Humanity’s inherent goodness will devise a way for Nature to regenerate itself as Nature relentlessly devoured by man himself.
With a pure heart and a overflowing goodness, humanity will come to life again. Evident in Sources of Life is the in the natural way of life to regenerate. Cervantes is still hopeful that we will realize that greed and hatred do not belong in our existence. Notice the heart in the middle of our subject—pierced in his chest as epitome of the nobility of our being.
The Tree shows signs in the beginning of regeneration. From the light, nature will emanate its own course. As we breathe new life, other life forms come in bloom and will commence the new order of things. The Fruits is hope being realized as the first signs of life is in existence. The brilliance of Cervantes is how he evokes a mood or an ambience that he transport the viewer to his illustrative epoch. His brushstrokes may just be hints yet they embark his desired message. Only Cervantes can make us feel as his story happens. His next series are a must-watched and hoped for. From there we will know how his story will materialize. As of now, Cervantes simply wants you to enjoy what you are being presented. He still does not know how it will end.
Every once in a while, Cervantes reflects on himself and takes a breather. In every series he does, he finds himself amidst the narrative. In Reset he sees himself in Melancholy—in a more pensive mood.
Trust the process that Reset must happen and so life can start anew.
Animated by Anime
Compared to traditional cartoons that was primarily aimed at children, the advent of anime ushered in adult audience that uniquely grew up with its increasing fandom. With its intensity, complex storylines, and unexpected endings anime catered to more fulfilled spectators.
Growing up in Bulacan in the last two decades, Cervantes was heavily influenced by anime and manga that as a kid he wanted to be an animator himself. Using ballpen, he created his own comics imbibing the realist notions of Dragonball-Z and Ghost Fighter.
Deeply spiritual, Cervantes initially drew religious figures and illustrated portraits by relying on his references and sketches which he still does every day. Recent months in government community quarantine however has overly inspired him to paint directly on canvas.
Hagonoy used to be vast expanses of fields where farming sustained the people living there. For the longest time, it maintained its rural culture. In Reset Cervantes reminisced these sordid changes in our prevalent world. Travel time used to be from one hour now you can be stuck in a two-hour traffic going to Manila. By the time you arrive at your destination we are tired to go back.
In the end, Cervantes keeps the faith that only we have each other unless we look after each other’s welfare, we will be gone to oblivion. As the narrative of Cervantes continues, In Reset a more mature and serious realism emerges.
Though Cervantes’ works art has the power to create what lies ahead. More than giving hope, Cervantes is capable to imagine.
Lawrence Cervantes is a 27-year-old artist who holds a degree in Visual Communication from Bulacan State University and a current graduate student for a degree in Education majoring in Arts and Management at La Consolacion University.
Cervantes delves on the mystical journey of the body and spirit. Growing up exposed to different religious perspectives has inspired him to focus on the subject of a persona’s soul in his works. His sepia-like renderings mostly feature people situated in subtly surreal environments. He often experiments with an impasto technique, with layers thick enough to show each stroke, he conveys intense elements and subjects on his canvas.
In 2018, he was one of the eight young artists awarded the Tuklas Residency Program. The program is a yearlong mentorship under Renato Habulan and Alfredo Esquillo. In the present, Cervantes teaches part time and the Bulacan State University while maintaining a humble approach to life as an artist and as a passionate mentor to his students who look up to him in many ways.