Corpus Delicti–meaning the “body of [the] crime” this Latin term refers to the legal idea that the requisite elements of a crime must be proven before an individual can be tried.  In this exhibition, four young artists specializing in painting the body, cleverly present the body in their distinct styles, as the evidence of the constructs of self-image, gender, ethnicity, and the battlefield for consumerism, and ideology.

Rum Corvera draws realistic, bold human figures with the technical precision and close attention to detail that Corvera has honed in  jewelry design.  Rendered in smudged charcoal over black paper, he embellishes these figures with textured gold painted accents, and intricate patterns of lines and dots in gold and white producing a lush, art deco feel, reminiscent of Gustav Klimt and influenced by  illustrator Laura Laine and his childhood in the Middle East.   For this exhibition, Corvera touches on gender and sexuality, particularly in the LGBTQ spectrum.  Staging pairs of figures, he creates tender narratives that contrast innocence and sexuality, idealized romance against sensuality.

Ron Mariñas is a symbolist painter known for his sensual, idealized male figures rendered in academic realism over a backdrop of textured gold, and combined with symbols from pop culture, retail, and fashion. Combining classical anatomy with pop references, he creates staged portraits reminiscent of fashionable Instagram feeds and glossy editorial magazines. Mariñas’ graduated from one of the esteemed universities in the Philippines, The University of Santo Tomas, and is currently taking up his Master’s Degree at his alma mater.  In Corpus Delicti, Mariñas departs from his usual style in several ways.  In Growth in Isolation, he creates a pixelated work of a man without pants, sitting on a stylized rug that contrasts with the photorealistic rendition of everything else in the painting.  The pixels, a new addition to his style, are reminiscent of censorship and mediation. Cross the Blues to Find Your Bloom is also a rare work that has many figures in it, which is unlike his usual solo figure oeuvre. All works reference high fashion and luxury items that consumerism and capitalism bombard us with.

Nic Bautista is a full-time graphic artist, a museum worker, a licensed teacher, and a practicing visual artist based in Manila. A graduate of Advertising Arts from Far Eastern University, she has participated in several art exhibitions and contests during her college year and up to present. Her art style is a mix of traditional and digital art, with an inclination on narrative and Goth. Her inspirations mostly come from films, music, iconic people, history, and tragedy which she expresses through portraiture of women on a textured surface, often mixing black with shades of pink.  Her works for this exhibition juxtapose the usual lone female figure that she is known for, against an urban setting marred flowing crimson paint, and menacing dogs, with soliloquy manifested as textual graffiti highlighting her female subjects’ vulnerability.  There is a palpable tension teetering on violence and sex, which highlights the disputed female body as body of evidence.

Summer De Guia‘s dynamic visuals are classical compositions with modern, conceptual juxtapositions in portraiture. Her usual subjects are women painted realistically against flat, plain-color backgrounds.  At present, she focuses on distorted nude women in closed, intimate spaces capturing their essence through the female gaze.  By distorting them, she deemphasizes the normative ideas of female perfection, the unrealistic prescriptions of culture and media on the female self-image, and the patriarchal subscriptions that women are subject to. Through her work, we are exposed to the female body as a body in contest between competing value systems that render women vulnerable and prone to abuse. 

curated by Ricky Francisco