“LENT” AT GALERIE RAPHAEL

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pope Francis, whose recent visit was a point of inspiration for so many Filipinos, said that Lent “... comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Now that the Holy Week is almost upon us, it is fitting that we remember the sacrifices made by Christ. Lent is what binds together all Christians — whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, we remember that our salvation was earned at the Cross in Calgary more than two millennia ago.

Lent is the forty days of repentance that begins on Ash Wednesday and leads towards Easter and the Resurrection. By observing Lent, we remember the forty days Christ spent in the wilderness as he was tempted by the Devil. And through his example of selflessness, we learn how to atone for our sins. “Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us,” as Blessed Theresa of Culcutta said. “What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart.” This concept of penance is a powerful idea, as it reminds us that all have sinned. The act of atonement has thus become a powerful symbol in art. Symbols such as the crucifix, where Christ died for our sins, have become ways Christians can identify with the suffering and pain that led to our salvation.

Artists such as renowned sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, famous for his People’s Power Monument along EDSA, have long created and crafted scenes of the crucifix. Well-known painters such as Jovan Benito have reverentially depicted scenes of Christ’s Passion and the spirit of Lent. And contemporary artists Toym Imao, son of the late National Artist Abdulmari Imao, and Ram Mallari articulate the message of Christ to a new generation of believers. It is in this light that Galerie Raphael observes the Lenten season through the staging of an exhibit that celebrates Christ’s triumph over death through its depiction in visual art.

Entitled “Lent,” the exhibit brings the best images of Christ’s sacrifice to the public. Running at Galerie Raphael from March 24 to April 1, 2015, the exhibit honors and reveres Christ and joins the entire nation in the celebration of the Holy Week and the conclusion of Lent.



This exhibit brings together artists in different media and unites them in the spirit of Christ. Focus is on renowned sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, responsible for numerous monuments around Metro Manila. While famous for his secular works of national heroes and events, he is also known form creating numerous religious works, such as a large sculpture in La Loma cemetery that features the Virgin. He also crafts smaller works mostly for his family, so the works on exhibit represent a rare glimpse of the artist at his most accessible. His bronze and brass crucifixes truly epitomize Castrillo, a product of the University of Santo Tomas, as one of the top artists in the game. Castrillo uses metal sheets to craft his works — similar to a technique used by pre-hispanic Filipinos as exemplified by the gold exhibitions at Ayala Museum and the Met Museum. As the son of a jeweler. Castrillo’s pioneering practice translated these techniques into thoroughly Modernist works.


Crucifix
Eduardo Castrillo
Brass, 2015


Crucifix
Eduardo Castrillo
Brass, 2015


Crucifix
Eduardo Castrillo
Brass, 2015

Likewise, Jovan Benito brings the Modernist penchant for abstraction into her paintings. Having carefully grown and matured from being an apprentice to her husband, Filipino surrealist, Jerry Morada, Benito quickly discovered her own style, technique and palette of colors. Benito’s talent for observing the world surrounding her started as a child watching her artist father work on paintings of movie billboards. Her paintings are thus colorful works that depict scenes from the passion of Christ, including the crucifixion and the resurrection. What Benito succeeds in doing is humanizing the Christ and making an unmistakable contemporary statement.


Crucifixion by Jovan Benito


Pieta by Jovan Benito


Untitled by Jovan Benito

Though he is the son of the late National Artist Abdulmari Imao, Toym Imao’s recent public works in UP have made him famous. The UP College of Architecture graduate and Fullbright scholar brings an intelligent discourse to his practice — and his crucifixes in this exhibition bring about a message of peace and unity.

Similarly, steam-punk artist Ram Mallari uses his affinity with found objects to bring about a sense of spirituality in what is inherently industrial. It is a unique take on the subject, but it is a thought-provoking interplay of the essence of Christ in today’s modern world.


Crucifixion 1 by Ram Mallari
Mixed-media assembly


Faith by Ram Mallari
Mixed-media assembly


Crucifixion 2 by Ram Mallari
Mixed-media assembly

These artists come together to celebrate the passion and sacrifice of Christ in a series of unprecedented art works. They join the nation in the reverence of Lent and the Holy Week.

Galerie Raphael is located at the 2/F the Shops at Serendra Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

They may be reached through their landline at (632) 856-3034 or e-mail, galerieraphael@yahoo.com.

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