Early last week, I spent 14 hours straight in serious contemplation of art, and the better part of the next few days writing about it. Even I needed a break from the art overload. Enter Maria Jeona and her first solo show, mounted at SLab’s 20Square, the perfect antidote to all that cerebral activity. She gave me just what I needed to get back into the swing of Manila’s art scene after a (very brief!) hiatus.
Sure Sure Happy Happy Picture Picture feels so refreshing. Artist Bea Camacho describes the experience of viewing the exhibit as akin to walking into the artist’s studio. Just imagine the space as one huge cork board. Or the whole show as one giant collage. Jeona’s doodles, cut-outs, drawings, and various-sized paintings hang in a seeming random fashion along with scribbles and Post-It notes. You get a riotous burst of neon and a
whole load of fun! I especially love her shaped canvases of female nudes, oil paintings executed like stylish illustrations. And their titles! LOL! Monogamist Kultur Si Sexy At Maraming Stretchmarks At Malalaking Butas ng Ilong Long Long is a mixed media piece made up of two shaped canvases of reclining figures. Jeona sticks a drawing of a pig snout on the nose of the larger figure. She paints Ms Wordstage Ms Wordstage Binarbiqung Legs Ni using a more traditional, rectangular canvas, yet
achieves the same exuberant effect. Somewhat like Cecily Brown, you have to look closely at the jumbled strokes before you discern her figures: a gruesome smile plastered on a girl’s face, a hint of a fleshy thigh.
I had actually seen some of Jeona’s work before, at a group show in Manila Contemporary and some pieces at another exhibit in Kaida. Even then, I thought her work very good. But now, after this show, I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Sure Sure Happy Happy Picture Picture worked for me because it felt easy and light. Wala lang. Fun fun!
Sure Sure Happy Happy Picture Picture runs from 7 to 31 July 2010 at 20Square, inside SLab, 2F YMC Bldg. 2, 2320 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Phone (632) 816-0044 or visit http://www.slab.silverlensphoto.com