© 2019 by NOVA Gallery Manila

Talking Heads

May 13 - 27, 2017

Reen Barrera

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Growing up as a kid, I don't usually have a lot of toys, I vaguely remember owning two or three pieces of action figures, as I call it now, I am a toy deprived kid. I was so bored that I started making my own toys with any found objects in our home, unaware that this is the start of my journey as an artist.

Wood, resin, cloth and metal is my choice of medium to create the sculptures (OHLALA), I decided to use all these materials because each have their own natural texture which helps the piece achieve its look, what I wanted was for it to look like the piece itself have experience something.

There was an idiom that says “It’s written all over your face” which gave me an idea that regardless of what we say, our true feelings can still be emancipated by our facial expressions. For me, it’s a silent way of communicating something without noise. It is where I find the inspiration to literally remember those facial expressions, create an artwork out of it, and mix it up with different symbols and patterns.

We, human beings have the same mold, we all have the same attributes. What differentiate us is the circumstances that we are born into and one thing that I want to emphasize is the amount of detail each piece has, like us, some have some while some have most.

In some artworks, I discreetly take on socio economic classes. Some people are born rich, mid class, some are poor. But the common ground is, everybody will have no choice but to deal with it. So I cover all their heads with a canvas cloth to give OhLala a freedom to paint their own symbols on their heads as if they are designing their own fate. And I guess that is what we all have in common, the power to make things happen for ourselves.

Acrylic, oil, and aerosol paint are my choice of medium in painting, a lot of times I often let accidents like drips smudges and splatter help me to decipher on what to do, I do start with a very loose abstract figures to overcome the fear of an empty canvas staring at me. In this collection of work, I try to become personal as possible, using ohlala as my main character to depict some of my experiences that leads me to where I am right now as an artist.

- I would want them to see that life is about what you make it. life is short, do what is right and do what you love, that's what I want everybody to do, no hate just love. We are all like OhLala, we have a choice.

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