Thursday, December 20, 2012

Into Space

One of the most exciting things a man can do is to explore the unknown. The promise of discovery and adventure has always lured would-be explorers out of their seats and catapulted them into unfamiliar territory.

Space, the great unknown, the only stone left un-turned by human hands, has always captivated me. Ever since I can remember, I've always preferred rockets to horses, astronauts to knights, and Facehuggers to Hobbits (Sorry about that Tolkien). Space will always have a special place in my imagination as an area that holds infinite possibilities, well kept secrets and the promise of adventure.

When one of my favorite graphic artists, Dan Matutina, announced on his Facebook page that he was having his first solo exhibit entitled "Into Space". I didn't need to hear a word more from that sentence to launch my arse into orbit and get to that exhibit.

Dan held his exhibit at the Pablo Gallery in Cubao X on December 1, 2012. I had heard a lot about Cubao X before but I never had a good reason to see what all the fuss about myself. Dan's exhibit finally got me to see the beauty and sheer awesomeness of what Cubao X had to offer (but more about that in another blog post soon).

Now on to the exhibit..

***Oh, to set the mood for viewing these pictures and reading the descriptions, this soundtrack might help :)

This is Clint Mansell's 'The Last Man' and I think it's a fitting companion for the journey through this exhibit. 

According to Dan, he tried something new for this exhibit by delving into installation art. Here is one lamp he made to resemble a black hole. It was made with ping pong balls. Cool!

Snagged myself a free poster. Awesome. 

I really like how Dan creates his art. I was lucky enough to see how he does it when we filmed him for a Nescafe video a few months ago. In my own humble opinion, Dan has a signature style of manipulating a multitude of geometric shapes to form a distinct and recognizable image. Another thing I like about Dan is the kind of texture and grain that accompanies his artworks. For me, it gives the image life and character.

Of course another thing that makes Dan one of my favorite artists is his obsession with the cosmos. Dan always has a dominant and distinctive space theme with his art. His works are filled with spacemen, asteroids, starships and alien worlds. Perfect for capturing an Andreo's attention.

For a full description of why Dan created this exhibit, you can check out the official post on one of his blogs here:

"Gutted Mountain, Massive Regrets"

The exhibit is all about one spaceman's quest to document the end of different worlds. His travels take him to the edges of our galaxy and the events he witnesses are nothing short of epic.

As I was walking through the exhibit, it struck me that the worlds he travels to are bleak and desolate. They are on the verge of collapsing and are in their death throes. The remains of these worlds are interesting. The spaceman documents "blasted landscapes" that might have been brought about by inter-planetary war, inter-galactic portals which may have been used by the fleeing citizens of a dying world and pedestals from which one can view the destruction of a world.

The pieces of this exhibit did not fail to stoke my curiosity with the cosmos even more. I really liked the approach that Dan took to his pieces when it came to displaying the concept of visiting dying worlds.

"We can follow them into the pitch black"

The image above is actually a photograph of one of the many particles of the "Nova Lamp" that was hanging around the exhibit. Although it may look like one of Dan's illustrations, his 'style' was achieved through some post processing on Lightroom to add more blacks and noise to the image.

The Nova Lamp. One of my favorites. 

"To catch the final view before it falls away."

This is Dan's really cool embossed signature! Can you make out the image of him with his glasses and hat? 

All in all, we had a stellar time at the exhibit and I can't wait for what Dan has in store for everyone next.

In the meantime, I guess my robotic dreams of electric sheep will have to wait.

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