ARNICA ACANTILADO & DONDON JERESANO
March 23,2022 - April 02,2022
In this two-artist exhibition, Duality, Arnica Acantillado and Dondon Jeresano present their respective conceptions of space, how it shapes behavior and identity, and how it functions in relation to human health and happiness. Those familiar with the works of the artists, who have already collaborated in previous exhibitions, are already aware of their individual pre-occupations. Acantillado focuses on nature and its fierce inhabitants, highlighting our origin and how we have become divorced from our true source while Jeresano, on the other hand, presents crumbling architectural structures as a commentary on the state of humanity.
The duality alluded to in the title is rural vs. urban, nature vs. civilization, organic vs. man-made. The works of Acantillado emplaces human figures in natural settings, situating images of celebration (ballgowns, balloons, tables set with china) not as foreign features but as a way of welcoming back humans into the fold of Mother Nature. Her works, which reveal Edenic beauty, evoke a sense of homecoming. Nature, through the lens of Acantillado, is not dangerous or threatening, as how disaster movies have made us to believe. Our bodies don’t forget our deep connection to light, air, and space, despite how the cities have alienated us nature.
Jeresano’s works have consistently been about the failure of our cities, whose decay is readily apparent in the jumble of shanties, ruins, and destroyed palatial buildings. Through the elements of theater, such as the proscenium and the box office, the artist dramatically reveals the artificialty of our man-made structures (not unlike the cardboard sets found on a stage) and how, compared to the features of the natural environment, are temporary, prone to devastation. Even the proudest of civilizations, such as the Roman Empire, will ultimately end up in ruins. We are simply distracted by the amusements that we have created to momentarily forget that, just like everything in nature, we, too, are mortal.
Duality, expressed through the highly descriptive figurations of Acantillado and Jeresano, underscores that what we perceive as a split in man is simply separation from nature. Despite the tall, shimmering structures we have built as fortress from the rest of creation, we cannot abandon our natural origin. Otherwise, our bodies will remind us the disconnection: the illnesses that plague the flesh and the mind. Acantillado’s paintings state that will always have a place in nature and, like a prodigal son, we will be welcomed to partake its nourishments. The works of Jeresano call us to have a sense of urgency to care for the planet that’s heating up in a pace not seen in history. Nature’s suffering will bring about our own demise.
-Carlomar Arcangel Daoana
Ronald “Dondon” Jeresano
is a Filipino painter hailing from Sorsogon City, Bicol Region. He studied BS Architecture in Polytechnic University, Sta. Mesa, Manila. Jeresano’s body of work always has a distinct flair, its style is always identifiable and simply stands out. He has been known as an artist who rigorously paints in figurative form to convey his thoughts. Since the beginning of his career, his works are either direct or oblique references to his observations and responses to his surroundings and the things that move him.
Lately, he has turned to structures, dwellings, and architectural references to convey complex themes like power structures, physical presences, acts of occupying, trespassing, collapses, interiorities, surfeit, and excesses opposite dispossession. Ronald Jeresano has exhibited in major art galleries in Manila and won several prizes for his works including the Grand Prize in the 2008 Metrobank Art Design Excellence (MADE)
Born and raised in the Philippines, Arnica Acantillado initially took up Architecture at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Lucky to have peers and a firm support system from her family, Acantilado was enticed to work harder to improve her skills which then birthed her into entering art competitions. She was constantly driven by her will to achieve and contribute to the art scene in the Philippines.
Acantilado’s perseverance and diligence in honing her skills forged her to gain recognition for her works and was then awarded in several competitions such as Shell National Student Art Competition, Eyebank Foundation Painting Competition, PLDT-DPC Telephone Directory Cover, Metrobank Art, and Design Excellence to name a few. Currently, Acantilado has been doing exhibitions – both group and solo shows in various galleries in the country.