Way back in the 1950s, National Artist H. R. Ocampo launched a series of abstract works titled “Mutants.” The works were inspired by a science-fiction film called “Beginning of the End,” dealing with the nuclear test explosions in the Bikini Atoll, in consequence of which mutations in plants, animals, insects, and feathered creatures arose. In his classic cellular forms, Ocampo contemplated the annihilation of mankind.
Mutant – meaning freak of nature, deviant, oddity, monstrosity – fascinates millennial artists of the present century who explore the theme in their physical and psychic guises, in a showtitled “Mutant,” now on view at Galerie Anna. Participating artists are Galaxie Maria, Isobel Francisco, GINOE, Eloise Gonzales, Angelo Padilla, and Karina Broce.
Galaxie Maria offsets the austerity and solemnity of the familiar through injections of humour and sarcasm, thus finding beauty in strangeness. Isobel Francisco’s works are “narratives of anguish, loss, and are an examination of what constitutes humanity.”GINOE fuses the sensibilities of pop and sequential artin a bold and comedic style, its playfulness tempered by underlying tensions of the personal.
Viewing the works of Eloise Gonzales is like stepping into a surreal hothouse teeming with exotic plants and flowers. Angelo Padilla’s works are described as “Victorianesque, anatomical, almost monstrous, exposition of folded skin, musculature, veins, and heart, intertwined with flora and fauna, signifying pain, pleasure and the artist’s personal struggle. Karina Broce paints delicate works on the themes of memory, tragedy, healing, and hope.