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. 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.
My paintings and collages grapple with reflections over impermanence and ruin. They are recompositions of images of transition; employing a method primarily of appropriation. In my collages, I digitally manipulate photographs of existing works, print them, and rearrange manually on the canvas. Fine details are sometimes blemished or sacrificed until the final composition has reached a complex appearance. I have previously taken on the works of other artists in dialogue, usually by rendering them illegible through layers of spray painted scrawls. Line drawings 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 marks. My works are often compared to a palimpsest in 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, relent to a more fragmented surface structure. I define this process of creation and destruction as a conceptual preservation of ruined forms in a highly cryptic, almost ambiguous, perception of time and historical events.
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