Romero Barragan – obscure and avant garde

Philippine painting has been for a long time heavily neglected in the world stage despite its long history. Not to mention its decline in comparison to other genres in the past decades, so I am listing a few painters, who continue to be heavily unappreciated or were simply overlooked as the Manila art scene is getting more recognition in the region. 

Man held earlier like in order to discipline and also to reward, so other secondary virtues are now for a while asked, first and foremost: mutability. All the time, so the mantra of the present, the man must reinvent itself. Therefore, it was fortunate for Romero Barragan, as eventually remembered nothing more to him. He, one of Manila’s most famous painters, felt bored with their own art. And he did, what to do in such cases, he was enough of late capitalist duty and reinvented himself. The results are now on display in Manila at the Pasay Art Gallery – a masterstroke delightfully colorful self-contradictions.

Now there are indeed the painter not easy, even those that succeeded not. But at least you can use the auto companies aside, Escoda about, a company that can be inspired for the retreaded judges so much that it acts as sponsor and presented the painter as his mascot. In his art wants to, it says in the catalog that meet the entrepreneurial credo most beautifully: “Never stand still, constantly in motion.”

Escoda knows “how exciting change is” – and judges know it of course. Hello, I love you is his issue.

Well, about such trifles could be overlooked. Unless these artists, despite all the changes, would still apply as unruly as rebellious, rebellious. And not as a painter who could be marketed jewelry. In the catalog it is, judge pictures were “subversive than ever”. But what could that, Escoda-supported mean?

Still consumed judge of its reputation as somehow left, somehow critical fighter against the establishment. He often has the battles of the road into the picture, punks, refugees, a ghostly state power. But now he has sold his old staff, the narrative, allegorical, each decipherable up and down – it all away. He has packed even the brush. Painting is now with hands and grease pencil.

Romero Barragan has reinvented itself: as a painter who can be the politicizing. The resorted to motley mess on Liniengewölk on delicate wiping wiper and hearty scrawl, like dotted with a few random droplets. Subversive this art is so far not want to be the ruler in his own pictures reign as a judge any longer. He does not conceive the forms, he lets them free. He does not lead the line, but also gives the strict control price. The painting is to prevail – and no one else. An almost anarchistic Angang.

Of course you can not go well that the judge knows well. Thus, the canvas is not crowded with gray-brown mud ado, he follows a few basic rules. Sometimes he draws on images with transparent glaze and arranges it a pastelliges sediment free-form clods and sausages – which usually turns out to be quite boring. For a second series he adorns canvases with colored horizontal stripes, and in front of the mural is desert compositions romp from, intricate, wedged, torn molds. Here it is meant to make out a knee, there grabs an invisible hand across the screen, somewhere staring hollow-eyed a skull.

So quite liked judges in fact not waive his characters, only that they now no longer perform, but appear as iridescent rest people, roughly divided as chicken.

In the catalog there is, in the first series of images if it were allusions to territorial conflicts. For the second judge had himself inspired by pornographic images. The painter himself wants from the one as little know how of the other. Motives were indifferent to him because: “Painting is not interesting because there’s something on it.” Important is only the attitude that aufscheine in the pictures.

This sounds at first by that self-contempt that still haunts many painters. At the latest in the eighties it came hard in fashion, everything truthful and A successful wiped off the canvas, usually sarcastically put forward by unkindness. About Significantly judge is arrested this Rotzigkeitsästhetik, only that they give him no longer to mean anything, but it all. Precisely what he calls attitude and might just as well call it virtue.

Strange that’s because when his pictures somewhat distinguished – the mild drifting of the series I like the desolate colliding Series II -, it’s instability. The eye loses itself quickly, because there is nothing on these canvases, which could keep the tension and tie the attention. The areas remain unconnected. The attached black lines lost in somewhere. Mag the rhetorical effort also be enormous – loud Farbgerassel, hectic Formaufwallung – at the end urges all excited by little.

At the end of this painting is all the more tiring because behind a will to judge instability inclusion appearing next to the changeability of a popular virtues of the present. Always it comes to a both-and: His paintings are painting, but thanks to the many lines precisely even drawing. They are both abstract and figurative. Give yourself rules for the background and foreground are unregulated. Celebrate as artifacts and want to blow up the frame but that judge has carefully let add. This art is over and under load.

In the best case can be understood as an attitude of the Non-Finito. In Barragan painting shows the world as happy unfinished, yet malleable, informal and open. Only just openness in art often another word for bare emptiness. And then especially like the auto companies.

Until December 17 at the Pasay Art Gallery. The catalog costs 128 pesos (



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