Now on show at the Hulot Gallery of the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art is Flexible Nerves, the Fourth Solo exhibition of known Ilonggo social realist Arel Zambarrano.
Flexible Nerves is a collection of social realism masterpieces that attempts to portray grace under pressure.
Social realism is often employed by contemporary artists to convey political and social issues ranging from poverty, political uncertainty, and environmental degradation. Most of the time, social realism effectively portrays the artists’ struggle of forming an artistic identity.
These elements were effectively employed by Zambarrano in Flexible Nerves in an apparent bid to communicate the struggles of an artist as a worker in a fast changing environment.
The Flexible Nerves collection is a socio-politically inspired art pieces. It is a personal response to social and personal changes and it showcases the expanse of the medium available at the disposal of Zambarrano.
In the Philippines, artists are presented with a daunting lack of sustainability in the practice – a point of view where Zambarrano draws a challenge. He discussed how the virtue of flexibility can effectively conquer moments of distress using personal metaphors.
The virtue of flexibility is illustrated in his art pieces and it depicts Zambarrano’s manual dexterity and deft.
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Aside from the telling adroitness of his art-making and the conceptual command of his message, what propelled his works in Flexible Nerves is an artist’s heart. It that can be felt in every vigorous yet delicate brushstroke, in every mark created by the nails, knives, and bullet slags, and in every pile of stone and hold of concrete that he incorporates in his art pieces.
Zambarrano is also consistent in his loud use of the color red that screams torment, but he also uses occasional cold tones which are a rare placid in his visual landscape. This somehow signifies the artist’s enthusiasm and pessimism despite the constant pressure of life.
Flexible Nerves is, in itself, a form created from the artist’s daily grind. The works are featured until February 20, 2020.