Thursday, April 03, 2008

Parables with F Holes

In November last year Jason Montinola had the solo exhibition, Deceit. Now a mere four months later he is showing seven new works in his latest solo exhibition, Lamintations, again at Megamall’s Big and Small Gallery.

With this current exhibition Montinola has employed a warmer palette although his concern with social issues continues albeit with current political overtones. The works are presented as parables with a cast of disparate characters, some of whom are darkly humourous, through which he extends their meaning past the obvious.

These figurative works question a range of issues ranging from the loss of innocence in “One Cold Night” and “Too Late for Roses” to aspects of the roots of torture in “The Sadest Story Every Told”. Then there is “Deceit” in which politically correct versions of Tweedledum and Tweedledee stand on the edge of a constructed precipice flanked by a world weary bishop and a nun with an inconvenient truth landscape at their backs.

Linking these works is the motive of F holes, those holes in violin family of instruments that lets music out. From the bishop’s mitre in “Deceit” to the eye make up of the innocent female character in “The Sadest Story Ever Told”. And as the eye make up of the females protagonists in “One Cold Night” and “Too Late for Roses”. Which culminate in the striking portrait of a beautiful young woman with the same eye make up and a Christmas bauble at her throat, entitled “F Holes”.

These are a powerful series of images that stay on the minds retina long after having left their presence and it is a tribute to Montinola’s skill that these works avoid falling into the inartistic trap of propaganda. Lamintations continues at The Big and Small Gallery, 4th Floor of Megamall in Ortigas City until 7th April.

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