Obemio’s ‘Journey’ closes Rockwell art fest

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Roel Obemio

“Big Catch Symphony”

Many things come to mind when we consider the art of Roel Obemio.

Fernando Botero as an obvious reference would perhaps be the first cue. Boterismo becomes “Obemize” in his parlance, but this is less due to any allegiance and more to Obemio’s interests as a caricaturist.

Evolution is another. Obemio was searching for themes that would drive his technique.

This journey has led Obemio to an increased study of the masters of Western art. The result is a more nuanced approach to painting, rich in the use of symbolism to drive a highly personal narrative structure.

This journey of Obemio’s development is the subject of his current exhibit in Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City.
Running until Thursday, Aug. 31, as part of Rockwell’s Focus on the Arts, “The Journey” charts the course of an artist in a constant state of flux.

“Peculiar”

“Peculiar”

These works underscore the growth the artist has experienced in the last few years.

While Obemio is a painter with a traditional Fine Arts background from the University of the East, his experience as a working artist has given him a unique understanding of the degrees of narrative.

Among his first jobs was being an animator in Hanna-Barbera’s now-defunct Philippine Animation Studio, and this aesthetic strain strongly influences his visual art practice. Also, his work as a caricaturist has also allowed him to depict the range of humanity in the alteration of an individual subject’s form.

He is also adamant that art should be accessible, and thus imbues his paintings with messages of positivity and hope.
Volume is a device Obemio uses to lend a personal sense of nostalgia to the reality of this vision that gives his works character and substance. But Obemio’s secondary use of this artistic device is to tinge his works with optimism. —CONTRIBUTED

“The Journey” is on display at the North Court of Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City. Call 7239418.

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