Early in December last year, Patrick Cruz shipped two packages to Light and Space Contemporary of his works done within a period of two years after graduating from Emily Carr University in Canada. Executed in a feverish streak, this show is only a preface to this young prolific artist’s body of work. Cruz arrived at this style after careful study and a series of ripostes to dominant contemporary themes in painting. He is unabashed in his longing for home manifested in cryptic visual and verbal innuendos which have become the primary instruments of his first solo exhibition in Manila. The works depict themes of his academic explorations, containing the pulsating colors and emotions that are unmistakably Philippine. Mostly collage and acrylic on canvas, his subjects seem to be adrift and estranged creatures of indeterminate gestures. They are obscurely grotesque and elusive, perhaps like the digit of a migrant artist that has not quite adjusted in his new town. The figures are impossibly proportioned, doing two or three things at one time. Their prominent faces are stylized and laboured, not to show emotion but to hide them. Cruz seems to have taken the fluid forms derived from Henri Matisse’s fauvist period that are rhythmic and yielding, containing a lighthearted verve which presides in the treatment. In one of his works, “Kargador ni Atlas,” Cruz typifies witticisms that have been more subtle in the other pieces, making these creatures circumvent their characteristic vulnerability through their lethargic poses which evoke the behavior of a person stuck in a trap. There is no rowdiness in Patrick Cruz, though there is much passion. He is an awesomely controlled artist, and his spirit, his mind, at least in this exhibition has the lopsided win over the monsters of his creations.
Light & Space
53 Fairlane St. West Fairview
1118 Quezon City, Philippines
March 22, 2013
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