Deception and Discomfort: A story of two artists

By: Isabella Marie A. Zerrudo

IT WAS an early Thursday night. The Christmas lights were bright and the ambiance was cool, but Museo de Iloilo was hosting a different vibe on Dec 14, 2017.

The scene was vivid and beckoning. On one side aggressive and on the other aggravated. In their back-to-back one man show exhibit, artists Roedil “Joe” Geraldo and Soika Vomiter captured the Ilonggo art scene with masterpieces that spoke of troubled times.

Geraldo, a renowned Ilonggo sculptor, infused the deception and untruth of this era with evocative colors and strokes, faces gaunt with horror or frustration, and anthropomorphic creatures stalking different dimensions in his exhibit called “Melting Days”.

“The concept that I see in these times is that the philosophy of people is untrue. The ways of today seem to be a lie,” Geraldo said in an interview with The Daily Guardian.

He cited how war and religion are merely a guise for business.

“Kung kis-a gina-blind ang tao para sa gira-gira, pero ang kamatuoran gali (is) business. Dason pag abot sa religion, daw subong, gina usar ang religion sa business. Indi tanan, pero kalabanan gina-usar (for business) (Sometimes people are made blind to believe in war, but the truth is that it is for business. When it comes to religion these days, it is used in business. Not all, but most are used for business),” Geraldo said.

Because of the deception, Geraldo believes that people’s beliefs are “melting”.

Geraldo’s sculptures – Death Angel and Highway to Hell – and paintings – Wild Child and Freedom of Soul – all speak of an unrest, a constant motion, one that seems to be melting.

For Vomiter, he came all the way from Leyte so he may channel his childhood and discomforts in life into troubled faces, thus, turning his art into a venue where stressors pooled in, encased and entrapped in an art exhibit that he called “Trip Out Society”.

“Para sa akin, yung pinaka-intense, yung pinakamalakas na force sa buhay ay yung discomforts (for me, the most intense and the strongest force in life are discomforts),” Vomiter said in an interview with The Daily Guardian.

He showcased his Stressed Face and Decapitated series of watercolor and ink artwork along with a nude performance art that aimed at bring out discomfort.

Vomiter said that he wanted to create an ambiance that is stressful.

“Gusto ko lang i-portray yung bad vibes, gusto ko lang i-portray ang pagiging bad trip (is) part na yun ng buhay. Ayaw ko gumawa ng art para maging comfortable ka (I wanted to portray the bad vibes, I wanted to portray that being “bad trip” is part of life. I don’t want to make art where you feel comfortable),” Vomiter said.

Both Geraldo and Vomiter spoke less of the monetary gains in making art and more of the internal pursuit that it requires.

For Geraldo, doing art is not a profession, but a way of life integrated in daily habits, and for Vomiter it is a way of expressing experiences.

At the end of the day, they both agree that art is also about the viewers, and with their themes and strokes, they have left an otherwise quiet, rainy Thursday night into a cathartic one.

Their exhibit runs at Museo de Iloilo until January 12, 2018.

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