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DAILY Grind (2018, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 91 by 122 cm).

“Man will only become better when you make him see what he is like” wrote playwright Anton Chekhov.

Reybert Ramos continues to tackle the complexity and diversity that pop culture has bought into the Manila contemporary scene. Drawing inspiration from double meanings and stereotypes, he presents “Converging Realities” as a social evaluation and correction of the modern individual.

Moreover, Ramos fuels his fifth solo exhibition with various symbolisms, criticisms and paradoxes about human nature as it springboards from the power of media, politics and moral responsibilities. Despite the strong social realism present in the artworks, he pushes his audience to deduce the symbolisms incorporated in his dog-human hybrids, particularly those that are narrative in nature. An instance would be Daily Grind, where the subjects create a crowd of isolated individuals — representing diversity of a common struggle.

MUSE (2018, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 122 by 91 cm).

Distinguished Gentlemen, on the other hand, is an attack on stereotypes using the motorcycle as a misinterpreted vehicle of violence associated with biker gangs or other criminal activities. Ramos redefines these associations with utilitarianism instead, that their realities were distorted with societal prejudices.

“Converging Realities” stands as the artist’s advocacy to question the social predicaments that shape human nature. And with the strong impact of social media, renewing perspectives or breaking stereotypes comes off like a futile force. Ramos then ingeniously makes these associations malleable instead through his art, reshaping its essence as it triggers a deeper and more implicit familiarity, subtly manifested in the dogs’ characteristics. This exhibition marks the artist’s development of creating finer details both literally and figuratively, exposing the unorthodox characters as the true identities that they actually are.

Ramos (born 1981) is a graduate of Visual Communication from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and an alumnus of Makiling School for the Arts. He has been exhibiting actively both locally and internationally, as he fulfills his duties as an art director in a major broadcasting corporation. Aside from his numerous group exhibitions in the Philippines, his socially infused artworks have also reached the international platform through Art Fair Tokyo and Art Stage Singapore (solo exhibition). Ramos continues to enunciate his pop culture-infused satires through his distinct hyperrealist hybrids, pushing his artistic career into a more socially profound and recognized level.

ARTIST Reybert Ramos.

“Converging Realities” will be on view at the ArtistSpace from 5 to 19 February with an artist’s reception on 16 February.

ArtistSpace is located at the Ayala Museum Annex, ground level, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Makati City. It is open from Mondays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call or e-mail Jane Salvador at (02) 759-8288 or artistspace@ayalamuseum.org or Grace Micah Oreiro at inquiry.

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