Lynyrd’s eyes lock with mine from every corner of the gallery. In my favorite, Ang Dilim…Hindi Na Muna Ako Pipikit (How Dark It Is…I Will Not Close My Eyes), they look at me through a mist, an otherwordly, ghostly gaze. In Manhid (Indifferent), they beg in
mute appeal, trapped in an unconscionable plight. In Lynyrd, surrounded by a sheen of black, one set of eyes look away, unable to meet mine, as harsh, painful words spurt from his lips, while the other set expresses regret, beseeching forgiveness. In Wala ng Plano Plano (Forget Making Plans), his eyes turn dead, determinedly closed, immune from feeling. In the last of his self-portraits, Apoy…Nakakasilaw (Blinded by Flame), sunglasses deliberately shield him, closing off his vulnerability.
As in every piece he does, Lynyrd does not fear letting it all out, bringing his pain and rawness to the fore. We feel his jumbled thoughts, articulated as shadowed layers of texts and figures that hover beneath the surface of his images. We wonder what he has gone through to curse himself as blackhearted. More than his incredible skill as an artist, more than the excitement that his future will surely generate, we know that when we acquire a Lynyrd Paras work, we bring home a piece of the man himself.