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 Ronald Ventura  (1973 - )

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Lived/Active: Philippines      Known for: painting-layering of images and combining of styles, sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

One of the most highly acclaimed contemporary artists from the Philippines, Ronald Ventura has garnered enormous international attention in recent years. He is noted for paintings featuring complex layering, combining images and styles raging from hyperrealism to cartoons and graffiti — as well as for a significant body of sculptural work.

Ventura now ranks among the leading artists of his generation in Southeast Asia. He presented his first US solo exhibition, Metaphysics of Skin, at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in September and October 2009, and a second show, A Thousand Islands, took place in Fall, 2011.

Ventura's work was featured in a groundbreaking solo exhibition, Mapping the Corporeal, at the National University of Singapore Museum in 2008. He was a participating artist in the 2009 Prague Biennale and was also featured in a solo exhibition that year at the Akili Museum of Art in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2010, he was part of a two-man exhibition, A Duad in Play, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore. Also in 2010, his work was seen in the Nanjing Biennale and in a solo exhibition in Milan. His work is currently featured in the group exhibition, Surreal Versus Surrealism in Contemporary Art, (October 6, 2011 - January 8, 2012) at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Spain.

Ventura takes the layering process in his work as a metaphor for the multifaceted national identity of the Philippines. Over the centuries, the profound influences of various occupying powers - Spain, Japan, and the United States - along with the underlying indigenous culture, have produced a complex and at times uneasy sense of identity. Ventura explores this historical and psychic phenomenon through a dialogue of images evoking East and West, high and low, old and young - seen, for example, in allusions to Old Master paintings or Japanese and American cartoons. He draws our attention to the "second skin" of cultural signifiers that each person carries with him, however unwittingly. Ventura views skin as an expressive surface - written on with tattoos, concealed under layers of imagery, or exploding outwards to reveal an inner world of fantasy and conflict.


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