AN escape to a world of fantasy can be done in the most productive way. While adding beauty to the continually changing political world, an artist can simply paint a picture that will take one to a place free of judgement, prejudice and political satire. Framed and hung on white walls is a breath of fresh air and a window to a place that welcomes people who wish to get some time away.
For Jon Ray Fernandez, this is a world his cat dreams of. And in this world full of luxuries, everything else does not matter except for his cat’s expensive taste. With his exhibit entitled “Luna’s Dream,” Jon Ray brings his audience with him on a journey to the scrutinizing palate of his cat, Luna.
“I rescued Luna from the streets of Metro Manila. It’s funny because she’s a local cat but when she came into my life, she kind of turned into a diva. So I said, ‘If my cat could have a dream, if my cat could speak, this would be the sort of things that she would want.’ She‘s addicted to the good life like sleeping in an air-conditioned room. She likes imported food,” said Jon Ray.
Jon Ray’s artworks provide escape rather than the usual mirror that hopes to reflect society as it is. For Jon, it is extremely difficult to find a way to escape the very political nature of society such that his artworks hope to provide one of the simplest ways of escaping reality.
“I grew up in Bacolod City where there’s a very vibrant art scene. But a lot of the art are all about social realism, usually a commentary on poverty or the state of the sugar cane industry. I understand that these are important but I wanted something that’s fun. I wanted something that will be happy to look at. I have a very strong weakness for beauty, so at the end of the day I said to myself that ‘if I’m going to have a solo show, I want it to be fun and beautiful,’” said Jon Ray.
Beginning his career as a flight attendant, Jon is not a stranger to the idea of escape.
He traveled the world for 10 years as part of the aviation industry. After, he chose to return to the Philippines and turn to a path quite different than the one he got used to.
“It wasn’t really planned. I had just gotten to a point where I wanted to do something a little more creative. I really love aviation. It was a good life, but you really have a time frame for it because it gets more difficult as you get older. When I came back to the Philippines, I really had no idea; I was kind of lost. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I fell into art by chance. I had a new house I had a lot of white walls. I needed to decorate and I couldn’t afford any of the art. So, I started painting and I started posting on Instagram and Facebook and people started asking me if the artworks were for sale.That’s how I began my career as a professional artist and the response has been very strong,” said Jon Ray.
The exhibit entitled Luna’s Dream was launched on Dec. 8 in Qube Gallery located in Crossroads Banilad, Cebu City. Fifteen percent of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to a charity called Smile Train which is a charity that provides free surgery to children in need who were born with cleft lip or cleft palate. The show runs until Dec. 30.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2017.
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