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Monday, October 26, 2009

Onus by Mervin Pimentel @ Blanc Gallery Makati

October 26- November 13, 2009
Blanc Gallery Makati

The onus is on us, as Mervin Pimentel suggests abruptly in this installation of paintings in oil at the Blanc Gallery in Makati City. But as to what is and wherefore that responsibility lies, Pimentel assembles a layered and tangled narrative as ground for this vital question.

Onus easily appeals to our sight and sensibility, placing cartoon-like people amidst verdant gridlocks of flora, fauna and more people while proceeding to discomfort us with its latent corruption and violence. These canvases are replete with characters that suggest the notorious types and prototypes of Filipino everyday life. Yet Pimentel renders each adeptly as creature: lush, ripe and rosy like fruit for picking.

Pimentel’s treatment of such dire subjects may still trace its lineage to the editorial cartoon, recalling the detailed graphics of such pieces in the old Philippines Free Press. One traces parallel tendencies among many emerging young artists today, for whom the cartoon is no longer relegated as ‘pop’ subject or influence, but as medium and form itself. Indeed, a diverse universe of cartooning has emerged from print and graffiti practice right into the canvas. But then, Pimentel’s skills clearly steer in the direction of social commentary as response and even reflex, given his actual brushes with authority in his rural hometown.

Mervin Pimentel studied Fine Arts at the Far Eastern University. He has been a consistent finalist in professional and student painting competitions, and is part of artists’ initiatives in both Metro Manila and Pangasinan. He is also a core member of TutoK.

Onus opens on Monday 6PM, October 26 at Blanc Gallery Makati. blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. For more information, please call or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email or visit,

Onus will run until November 13, 2009 and is co-produced by slash/art artists’ initiatives.

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