On some days, Troy Ignacio sits on a park bench at the center of Makati, an unobtrusive observer of the people around him . He
quietly sketches what he sees. It could be the working stiff laughing loudly at some unknown joke or a lady scurrying to complete an errand. Like all kibitzers, he wonders at the stories that each person carries beneath their visages. What secrets do their frames contain?
Six years ago, Troy, now 31, completely stopped painting. This despite earning recognition through two solo exhibits; one of them even got him to the shortlist of the 2004 Ateneo Art Awards. He felt that the abstractions he had been working on were no longer true reflections of who he was. His mentor,the late Bobi Valenzuela, famed curator of Hiraya and Boston Galleries, kept egging him to get back to his art. But things just didn’t feel right.
Last year, Troy reconnected with his artist peers, Rodel Tapaya and Marina Cruz, for a group show at Boston Gallery. Cloud Cuckoo Land (see this blog’s archives, October 2009) brought him back into the
art scene. It paved the way for his return to The Drawing Room with this solo show.
Troy has completed oil on paper pieces, ten renditions of various personalities he has
encountered in the course of a year. He paints them grotesque, with spindly extremities on undefined forms. We understand that we see alter egos, ominous Mr. Hydes in shades of black and white. The only spots of color on each piece look like they have been exposed accidentally, revealed when a portion of the painting had been scraped away.
Troy calls the show Kahig, which means “to scratch”. It is to that sliver of color that our eyes are drawn to when we look at each of the 5ft x 4ft works. They bring out a surprising detail, an additional unexpected twist to the painted personas. Just like Troy, we speculate at what lies hidden underneath the surface and want to peel out more.
Kahig runs from 18 September to 9 October 2010 at The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, 1007 Metropolitan Avenue, Makati City. Phone (632) 897-7877 or visit http://www.thedrawingroomgallery.com