Monochromatic revenge

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Sunday, March 23, 2014


Oppressors celebrate his absence with wicked words. Out of their mouths, stories of criticisms gush out freely like a never-ending "amusement." They destroy his works, piss on them even. Growing up is a survival of the fittest.

Ridicule and mockery walked with him from kindergarten through college. Days rolled by. The bullying escalated. The only performance his enemies have not yet done is physical torture. All bad things must end. He got out of himself, grabbed a pencil and bled solutions in his head. Payback time, friends.

Qube Gallery’s “Bright Eyes Series” for the month of March culminates today with Kevin Cabrera’s “A.B. Solution,” a personal art fare which opened last Tuesday to portray the artist’s visual vengeance for his real-life tormentors.

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Two other graduating students from the fine arts program of the University of the Philippines-Cebu College preceded Cabrera’s show—Tom Jopson with “Imaginary Friends” and Jiyun Kim with “Talesbox: A Container of Emotions.”

Cabrera’s exhibit features 19 macabre pieces in graphite, depicting the underdog’s reply to bullying. The witty titles in the collection introduce the audience to an outpouring of emotions, particularly on “smiLIEy” (the stylized title is intentional, true for the rest of Cabrera’s works). A man in a smiley mask is stretching an actual smile from his victim’s vacant face. The smile explains it all.

Influenced by the creations of online art mover identified as “Dholl” among others, Cabrera is so far experimenting on the potential of pencil over paint. He is yet to accomplish his signature approach.

“Colors never really agree with me. On the other hand, pencil is an underestimated medium and I feel free with monochrome. For now, I’d like to express myself more with pencil because it’s something I could relate to. Although next time, I’d like to adapt a touch of colors and cheerfulness,” the 22-year-old neophyte beamed.

It’s interesting how something bad can inspire the birth of something “beautiful.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 24, 2014.

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