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Doubting Years


May 21,2022 - June 11,2022

Press Release

The Age of Uncertainty

Conversant in both the sculptural and painting media, Bacolod-based artist Joe Geraldo has for years been depicting the intersection of private and public life, the collision of the contained, intimate self and the collective. For him, external reality—structured socially, economically, and politically—is but a reflection of the inner one. A corrupt society, for instance, evinces spiritual depravity. Whether in terracotta or pigment, Geraldo gives visual weight to what is primarily felt internally as a way to map out the conditions of the soul that predict, shape, and directly implicate into what we experience as verities of everyday life.

In Doubting Years, Geraldo renders form to the existential skepticism that many of us feel. With the erosion of truth because of fake news and historical revisionism, the installation of corrupt officials in high places, and the weakening of democratic structures, it’s a difficult task to place any optimism in the future both near and distant. The artist captures this uncertainty through an expressive figurative style that makes use of symbolism and allegory to articulate his observations as well as his
fevered visions should things continue as they are.

Lush like a tapestry and brimming with detail, the paintings center human figures as either representations of abstract ideas, such justice, or as active players caught in the struggle against those who desire dominance. In “The Attack,” for instance, a protagonist, crouched on all fours, attempt to shrug off the crocodiles—which represent corrupt politicians—that infest the waters on which the figure treads. The task seems to be Herculean, but there is a determinant attitude in his pose, as box-like structures, which may represent the city or the stability we long for, emerge on his back. Similarly, structures are borne on the backs of workers in the painting “City,” which underscores whose labor and hardship has made our nation come into fruition.

Other works, however, are more intense and menacing in that they portray the disintegration of the individual, the seeming meaninglessness of time, and the hectic prevalence of death. These works, while evoking a threatening atmosphere, are actually clear-eyed, frank, and exacting in their depiction of the dire consequences about to unleash their horror. The actions leading to these consequences were not enacted overnight, but patiently cultivated and distributed through the years, as most of us went about living our lives, unaware of the nefarious plans being hatched by those delirious with power and control.

Doubting Years has an immediate, oracular quality that seizes the viewer—a force of description and symbolism possessed only by those who unblinkingly confront reality and its awful truths. Despite the uncertainty implicit in these works and underscored by the exhibition’s title, a sense of persistence—if not resilience—imbues the paintings with their metaphorical urgency, their vivid and livid colors, and their figures still unyielding in the face of the insurmountable odds. Geraldo makes the case for painting as a vehicle in which the necessary act of truth-telling may commence.

- Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

Roedil Joe Geraldo (b.1969)

is a filipino artist hailing from Negros Occidental. He studied Fine Arts at the La Consolation College in Bacolod and is known for his remarkable sculptures. He is also an active member of the Art Association of Bacolod (AAB), Art Association of Talisay (ATA), Kasamahan ng mga Artisan Mulat ang Isip (KAMI) and Signus of Negros art groups.

Geraldo began to achieve awards in 1991, and was awarded as a regional winner for 3 consecutive years at the PLDT-DPC Directory Cover Visual Art National Competition. He also participated in various competitions like Metrobank Art and Design for Excellence competition,GSIS Art Competition and Philip Morris Exhibition.

For his upcoming 11th solo exhibit titled(teeth)oubting Years, Geraldo's imagery was more focused on the current situations that the country is facing. He has doubts about the upcoming years because of the pandemic and the developments in the government.

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