Bjorn Calleja’s The Color Bringer opening this Sunday June 26 at Secret Fresh Gallery features paintings that despite the upbeat positivist attitude the exhibit title may invoke, the central figure – a wide-eyed, fat-lipped tubby figure gazes melancholic towards the viewer, as though the offering of a rainbow to a gray monochrome world entailed a great sacrifice for this otherworldly gnome-like creature.
These are painted as portraits color-keyed to their ornate frames and to the wall where they hang. Their singular use of color are so intended as to amplify colors’ emotive response to one’s environment, each “portrait” a spectrum fractal of its maker, the artist, if we are to subscribe to the supposition that each picture an artist makes is essentially a self-portrait.
What Calleja seemingly reveals in this exhibit is that the end of a rainbow is not a pot of gold but rather these gnome-like creatures smirking in their reluctance to bring radiance, to be the color bringers to a world made dreary by routine, and where imagination and wonder are vastly becoming more precious than gold.
Calleja earned his fine arts degree from the Far Eastern University and has been exhibited in several notable galleries in Manila. He had his first solo exhibit at Lost Projects. This is his 2nd solo exhibit.
The launch of The Color Bringer toy, a resin cast figure based on one of Calleja’s paintings in the show, will also coincide with the exhibit. The toy has a limited release of 20 pieces worldwide. Each piece is signed and numbered by the artist.
The Color Bringer exhibit is on view until July 19, 2011.
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