Art critic Alice Guillermo calls them “stark portraits”, while art writer Gina Fairley describes them as “fiery apparitions”. We
have come to know them well, the soulful eyes and tortured miens that fill the canvases of Lynyrd Paras. We know to look closely at the shadows of texts and images that lie beneath the surface of his painted faces. Therein lie the stories that each painting tells; the words give us clues to the tales that Lynyrd chooses to share. More than just portraits, Lynyrd uses his work to spill out his guts, to take us through the never-ending emotional roller coaster ride that seems to dog his young life. Usually he deals with relationships, his and those of the people close to him. His art leaves the romantics feeling his pain, and the more cynical shaking their heads at the melancholia overload.
Its been almost two years since Lynyrd’s last solo show, Welcome To My Blackhearted World. Since then, he’s been through a residency grant with Taksu in Malaysia, and staked his claim as one of the most bankable young artists in Manila’s art scene. He’s taken two local auctions by storm, those at last year’s ManilART and the controversial
Ateneo Alumni event. One can imagine the jockeying for pieces that accompanied the organizing of this current exhibit, Some Things Are Not Meant To Be Beautiful.
Eighteen months ago, Lynyrd produced mostly self-portraits. Here, he shows three self portraits along with representations of a few other personages . However, the one I find most interesting is Maisip Mo Ang Wakas Pag Palagi Kang Wasak. He treats this differently from the rest. It is the only one where he does not make use of someone’s face. You get his layers of superimposed figures obscured from beneath a huge skull. Perhaps this is a direction he can start to explore. As much as I find his faces as visually arresting as always, it may also be good for Lynyrd to experiment and put his prodigious skill to a test. He should not be afraid to venture away from what has become a visual signature. We all need to get out of our comfort zones now and again. No one wants to get stuck in a rut. And for an artist possessed with Lynyrd’s youth and incredible talent, trying something new may well lead to the creation of even more irresistible pieces.
Some Things Are Not Meant To Be Beautiful runs from 5 to 20 June 2010 at the Artispace, 2F Glass Wing, Ayala Museum, Greenbelt Makati City. It moves to the Yuchengco Museum from 21 June to 5 July 2010. For more information, contact Art Verite at http://www.artverite.net