Saturday, September 27, 2014

Artists use a kind of language that translates complex ideas into evocative visuals. They manage to find haunting beauty in concepts like pain or loss of innocence, and their aesthetic approach often reflects this. Every brushstroke is a manifestation of an artist’s nature, channeling his soul into the painting. Thus the final artwork is a piece of the artist, imbued with his purpose.

This is how contemporary artist Marc Aran Reyes sees his practice. Opening a solo exhibition entitled “Piece of Mind,” the young artist reflects upon the weight of his experiences using a monochromatic hyper-realist aesthetic that, upon first impression, is devoid of emotional resonance but upon further examination is a highly-considered rendering of heavy conceptual ideas. In this manner, every painting reveals a piece of the artist that he is willing to share with the world. Opening in the new contemporary art space at Art Underground, the two-time finalist at the Metrobank Art Awards brings his nuanced practice to the ever-expanding discourse.

A Moment
48 x 36

60 x 38

A Fine Arts graduate of Far Eastern University, the practice of Marc Aran Reyes reveals a mastery of hyper-realist technique. By preferring monochrome hues, he avoids the distraction of color as a the basis of emotional direction. Instead, he relies on symbolism in bringing about the message of his artworks. “The technicality of my works is not actually intended to create an illusion of a picture but to let others get a glimpse of who I am, my ideals, and my expression of reality,” he explains. “I opt to express the bittersweet truth of life in my paintings.”

His nuanced practice is perhaps best represented by “Cleopatra in Milk,” where a Barbie doll is depicted being immersed in a milk bath. While the symbolism of Barbie as an outdated representation of the female ideal is obvious, the deeper narrative behind it is the story of a girl who was left in freezing water and died. These juxtapositions of narrative and symbolism brings credence and weight to a painting already aesthetically haunting.

36 x 48

48 x 60

Reyes’ exhibition at Art Underground marks a milestone in his career. Expected to become one of the top contemporary artists in the country, “Piece of Mind” is a transitional exhibition that demonstrates the strong technical and conceptual nous of this remarkable artist.

Cleopatra in Milk
36 x 24

Barbie in Milk
12 x 24

“Piece of Mind” opens on September 26 and runs to October 5, 2014 at Art Underground, located at 814 Balagtas Street corner Shaw Boulevard, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City.

For inquiries, please call (632) 721-0745, 0917 817 2902 or email

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