1 : Ferdie Montemayor

Tin-aw Art Gallery presents “1,” a solo exhibition of recent works by visual artist Ferdie Montemayor. The monochrome acrylic paintings depict crowds rushing to destinations known only to them. These medium scale works on canvas show cycling figures, running bodies, and congregations in a range of movement. Swarms of bodies plod pavements in measured steps, furiously pump bicycles, and rhythmically jog to the finish. The artist’s fluid and dense brushwork and figures that ease out and fill pictorial space conjure a tense atmosphere of deluge and rush.

Montemayor takes cue from past works of landscapes filled to the brim, labyrinths of structures transforming earthly space into a perplexing, alien form. This is the globe seen from the artist’s vantage, a sphere of motley structures, skyscrapers dwarfing (slums), making the earth one tangled mass of gnarled networks. A heightened sense of movement, frenzy if you will marks this new series in the artist’s body of work. Earlier canvases especially those from 2009, were marked by a profusion of inert bodies. The works for the exhibit on the other hand breathe movement mostly frenetic, bodies stirring to rhythm and steering towards redemption or catastrophe, we are yet to know. Montemayor speaks to the perilous state humanity is in, of unremitting greed overwhelming earth’s finite resources. The artist summons us to join the crowd, to imagine ourselves within the fray, and feel the crush life has become in a world increasingly on edge.