An alumnus of the Philippine High School for the Arts and a Fine Arts graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Ramos has forged a decade-long career as an Art Director of GMA Network, one of the largest media companies in the country. His role as an art director has somehow influenced this series of surrealist portraits, jumpstarting what will undoubtedly be a fertile and productive art career. “I was really influenced by the nature of my work as an art director,” Ramos states. “It’s like I’m making an advertising campaign for fashion. Because of my background in mass media, it allows me to take inspiration from a gamut of sources, from pop culture, to street art, to design blogs, to ad campaigns.”
The surrealist writer and philosopher Andre Breton considered surrealism a revolutionary movement. “There is a man cut in two by the window,” he declared of the essential state of the surreal. It is within this state of hypnagogia – the transition between wakefulness and sleep – where the alluring juxtapositions and non sequiturs of a surrealist composition exist, cut by that metaphorical window pane where the visual entity of one side exists with the other. In short, surrealism within the visual arts is the capturing of the conditions of lucid dreaming bound on canvas. The artist is therefore not merely a vassal, an automaton of technique—he becomes a deity, creating the world through a kaleidoscopic vision of memory, emotion, and expression.
“What we do to humanize the pets we domesticate, in turn, transforms us into animals,” he declares. So these portraits – Blood Hounds in trench coats, Beagles smoking cigarettes – provide deeper insight into the human condition—being that of the surrealist response to the binary platitude of existence. Through this, Ramos, already on the fast-track of art world recognition, becomes the true embodiment of Breton’s assessment of the surrealist: the harbinger of a revolutionary movement.
Ramos’ first solo exhibition in April 2012 at Galerie Stephanie was almost sold out on the opening day.