Othoniel “Otto” Neri presents his solo exhibition titled “Convergence” at Galarie Anna, opening May 18, 2012.
A conflict of cultures, between East and the West, manifesting itself in the Great Divide, engendering the turmoil and tension both in the physical geo-political space and the psychic polarities of colonial consequences, is at the core of Neri’s recent works. But the seeming irreconcilability provoked by the direct contact between two opposing forces is mollified by the positive outlook of the hopeful theme “Convergence.”
Neri views the lessons of the country’s history through the prism of a nativist’s pop sensibility, drawn with the imprint of typical Pinoy humor that, for instance, transmogrifies the legendary Mactan hero Lapu-Lapu into the chefs’ favorite fish. In “Resistance,” the giant-esque fish proceeds to fest on the unwelcome Portuguese explorer and island intruder.
In “Disoriented,” the artist’s Pop humeor alludes to Andy Warhol and his Marilyn Monroe, with her perpetually haf-opened luscious mouth and mounds of seductive flesh, even as the dark-skinned tribes are flummoxed into a state of pent-up desire.
Another Pop icon, the Mona Lisa in “What Keeps You Smiling,” depicts the mysterious Florentine lady in the company of native indias,in a symbolic hybridity of our country’s culture of the race. Indeed, a large work “The Culprits,” even panders to the Pinoy joke adverting to the killers of Lapu-Lapu, the chefs as salivating tribesmen around a boiling cauldron.
Closer to the nerve is “Back Off'” which touches on the currently simmering geopolitical conflict in the South China sea, and where the artist chooses to depict the festive and gaily-colored Dragon Dance as it slowly but surely inches its way into Philippine territory.
In an irreverent seizing of our unique native sensibility, referencing history as a Pop granary of images, Othoniel “Otto” Neri, while not resolving the paradoxes of history, nonetheless celebrates with his own delicious cauldron of Pinoy multiculturalism.
Solo Exhibit by Othoniel ” Otto” Neri
May 18 to June 02, 2017
Galerie Anna, 4th Floor Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Some of my favorites
Thanks Othoniel Otto Neri for inviting me to your first solo show at Galerie Anna. You certainly know how to express yourself with the pallette knife. Amazing show.