An Excuse to See Ronante Maratas’ Recent Works

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Sad Excuses Invite

Sad Excuses is going to be young contemporary artist Ronante Maratas’ second one-man exhibition for the year 2016. In an email interview, he admits that is actually one of his goals to be able to mount a couple of major exhibitions under his name within the same year, a feat which is definitely not easy to achieve.

The exhibition will feature 7 of the artist’s most recent works, including “Refuse to Sleep With Eyes Closed,” “Time Destroys Men, Men Destroys Time,” and “Atomic Doom.”

Each work is a manifestation of the artist’s pedestrian and cerebral meditation. “Refuse to Sleep With Eyes Open” and “Atomic Doom,” for instance, are inspired by the prevailing crimes and violence in the city. As the artist puts it: “Tila ba nasanay na ang tao sa ganitong balita at naging natural na lang na bahagi ng araw araw na pangyayari.”

“Time Destroys Men, Men Destroys Time,” Maratas describes, is his way of interrogating himself: “Ito’y isang tanong sa aking sarili; hindi ba pwedeng mamuhay nang walang kaguluhan, na ang iniisip ng bawat isa ay ang kapakanan ng lahat at ng hinaharap.”

What’s fascinating about Maratas’ works is that despite the gloomy story behind each work, he’s able to combine the most vibrant and most youthful hues and tones in order to create seemingly innocent yet pungent visuals.

The exhibition will also include “Bawal Umihi Ang Pagong Sa Dagat,” “Dear Whoever,” “If All You Want Are Flowers, Then Plant Yourself A Garden,” and “Lonely People Series.”

“Bawal Umihi Ang Pagong Sa Dagat” has a very colorful backstory. The title was actually taken from an anonymous graffiti which the artist saw during one of his commutes. For the artist, it was a reminder of the poaching activities that unfortunately lead sea turtles to vulnerability and destruction.

The artist’s environmentalist ideal is also the motivating factor behind “If All You Want Are Flowers, Then Plant Yourself A Garden.” About it the artist says, “People want and consume everything, na ayos lang sirain ang kalikasan basta may magandang bahay at kasangkapan. Akala natin automatic na mapapalitan ang mga punong pinutol natin kahit wala tayong itanim, okay lang sa atin lahat kasi iniisip natin na may magtatanim para sa atin.”

In Sad Excuses, the artist took advantage of being able to hop from one issue to another. In “Dear Whoever,” for instance, Maratas shares that it was inspired by his current view on religion. According to him, “Lumaki ako na nainiwalang ang religion ay ang isa sa pinakamapayapang bagay sa mundo na mayroon ang tao, pero habang nagma-mature ako, nakita ko kung gaano magkagulo ang mga tao dahil sa pagkakaiba-iba nila ng paniniwala.” While in “Lonely People Series,” the artist attempts to focus on human emotion, particularly sadness. He calls it an “ironic portrait” because he says “we do sad things with our face smiling.”

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