KRISTO y KRISTOS
The Cultural Center of the Philippines with support from Pablo Gallery
DATE/ TIME/ VENUE:
Opening reception: 22 March, Wednesday, 6pm
Artist talk: 7 April, Friday, 4pm
Exhibit duration: 22 March to 30 April 2017
Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery)
The regular viewing time for gallery exhibits is from 10:00AM to 6:00PM but it is extended during performances in theaters and other performance venues up to the first interval of the show.
This exhibit’s inspiration comes from one of the most important icons in Philippine Catholicism and its devoted worshippers who fanatically gather each year in millions to give reverence to the holy icon. The Black Nazarene is an image of Christ whose history dates back to 16th century Mexico. So strong is the devotion of its followers that it is worshipped every Friday, and on three important dates of the calendar year: Good Friday, which is the actual feast day; December 31st, and January 9th when millions of followers from across the country gather for a chance to touch the miraculous sculpture.
With the inspiration laid out, artist Auggie Fontanilla began his process by conducting interviews with the Nazarene's devotees. Guided by these, he blended his trademark style of traditional tattoos and the image of Christ with the ideas he gathered from his immersion with the devotees. The artist depicts the perception of Christ through everyday people in two bodies facing opposite directions - one faces the audience the other turns away. The body facing forward was done so to demonstrate, in Fontanilla’s own words, "the idea of the facade that people build so that others have an idea of what kind of person they are". The body is segmented, with the individual pieces representing different aspects of human life such as labor, devotion, and lust. Each segment contains different tattoos with their placement and images meant to augment what each segment represents. The second body facing backward is fully covered with images of Christ. Fontanilla explains that this is his way of embodying the conflict that people face with regards to their faith - complete surrender with Christ, being the ever present guide to fall back on; or, complete rejection, the literal movement of turning away made figurative.
A growing name in the Philippine art scene, Fontanilla has showcased his signature style in multiple exhibits and galleries including solo exhibitions in Pablo and Post Gallery, and in group shows held in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Lopez Museum, and National Museum to name a few. Graduating from the University of Sto. Tomas with a degree in Fine Arts, Fontanilla also ventures in entrepreneurship, education, logistics and events. He continues to make waves in his fields by maintaining a very active profile throughout the communities he represents.