Geronimo Cristobal (born 1986 in the Philippines) is a writer and painter based in Manila. As a painter he has held four solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions in Manila and abroad. He writes fiction as well as essays on art history. His first book, Collected Encounters (SVA, 2011) was published in Berlin with translations in German and Filipino.

Artist Statement

My paintings and collages grapple with reflections over impermanence and ruin. They are re-compositions of images of transition; employing a methodology primarily one of derivation. In my multi-layered collages, I digitally manipulate photographs of existing collages and reprint them using an HP LaserJet Enterprise M606x printer before rearranging them manually on canvas. Fine details are sometimes blemished or sacrificed until the final composition has reached a more forceful and complex appearance.

I have previously taken on the works of other artists in dialogue. Illegible layers of spray painted scrawls and line drawing peer through a more prevailing foreground of wide and subdued color fields, under layered by architectonic structures.

These fields of color are interrupted by smaller gestures and eccentric form. My work has a palimpsest effect, where layers of images and writings bleed through the final layers of paint and collage, giving the artist canvas the function of an ancient scribe’s tablet.

If there is any figure left to be deciphered, they are mostly symbols of abandonment, but also of social function and power, and in my paintings, they are defined purely from their facades, as objects or as images.

The nuanced varnishes or emulsion glazes, the object-like wholeness of my works, give way to a more fragmented surface structure. I define this process of creation and destruction as a conceptual preservation of ruined forms by traversing seemingly disparate landmarks in a highly cryptic, almost ambiguous, perception of time and historical events.