“Billiken, make me three bright masks
For the three tasks in my life.”
–Order for Masks by Virginia Moreno
The development of portraiture and figure drawing has long deviated from being products of commissions from wealthy nobles into being more personal and mysterious. The face, for instance, ironically has been masked with various symbols; while figures are now entrapped in a more experimental environment with undertones of surrealism. Such new styles are expressed by Bulacan-based artists Don Bryan Bunag, Lawrence Cervantes, Mark Maac and Marvin Quizon in their four-man exhibit entitled Make Me Four Masks drawn from the concluding line of Virginia Moreno’s famous poem, “Order for Masks”. Inspired by the element of mystery and universality, their female-dominated pieces resonate the exhibit’s literary reference through the paradox of revealing through concealing.
Make Me Four Masks is a sombre yet reflective staging of figures and portraits, with the hints of the poem’s revelation of human’s true triumphs.