Philippine Artist Demetrio Dela Cruz’ last solo exhibition TRANSPARENCIES at Boston Gallery, Quezon City, Metro Manila, in October 2014 was sold out within 2.5 hours after opening. His artwork is increasingly sought after by politicians, companies and art collectors alike, with a growing interest from international art collectors.
The artwork of Demet – as he is known by many – is characterized by an excellently executed traditional, or better realistic, style combined with different media and materials. His educational background in advertising has influenced his work, as he is presenting the objects in his work often in painted window frames or on top of painted pedestals. Consequently Demet calls his work ‘Commercial Art’. His paintings as well as his mixed media works, currently executed on successive layers of transparent acrylic sheets, are approaching the next higher dimension, trying to leave the two-dimensionality of the canvas. Motives vary, but include a center object surrounded by several layers of additional, sometimes modified objects, including skulls of the center object, as well as religious, traditional and other common motives. His cows/respective handbags series is most recognized by collectors in the Philippines. His handbag series got him already into trouble with some famous handbag producers – I guess the best compliment an artist can receive.
Demet started his career as bachelor of fine arts, major in Advertising at the Far Eastern University in 1992. Initially employed as a graphic designer he became self-employed in 1997 which allowed him to develop his passion for painting. His first paintings in the 90ies were mainstream pieces of art. Although successful with these ‘shopping mall’ pieces, Demet’s ambition was to combine traditional ways of painting with his experience in advertising and graphic design.
Consequentially, his works in the early 2000s became increasingly complex, utilizing different media and adding different effects to his paintings –sometimes better called installations- , including light and sound effects. These artworks won him several prices, among others the Grand Price of the AAP National Art Competition, and gained him national recognizance.
Constantly looking for viewer interaction, Demet’s works provoke and demand interaction with his work and, consequently, with the artist. The objects presented in the early years of the new millennium ranged from dried fish painted on old CDs and LPs, sometimes combined with electronic gadgets, like keyboards and signboards to nudity and pornography, combined with painted skeletons, always blinking and shining, always demanding the attention of the viewer. This experimental period with heavy and complex art pieces was a complete break with his traditional painting period in the 90ies.
Over the last few years Demet focused his interest on describing the transiency of beauty, the impact of commerce on beauty and the impact of commerce on the youth. Including also increasingly religious motives in his paintings, we are looking forward to see more of this unique and extraordinary work that links traditional Filipino painting styles with modern ideas of advertisement to create new and progressive Philippine art.
18 oktober - 09 November 2014
72-A Boston Street Cubao