Brilliant / Bullshit Series

Works

ARTIST STATEMENT

The works are an homage to the Brillo Box series of works. This was Warhol’s take on art imitating life and his depiction of commercial and consumer life. When it came out, it stirred a lot of controversy for its credibility and authenticity as art. However, time proved that Warhol was just holding a mirror to society. It was more of the gesture than the work itself that holds deeper meaning. This gave new life to the works and made them stand the test of time.

I do not want to question how the current audiences view or classify art. Rather, remind them that there should always be room for those that seek to redefine what art is, what constitutes it and how we see it. I wish to do that by showing that not too long ago, many people doubted the Brillo Box works for what they were.

I wanted to use the same image to show how the world reacted to his vision. Some thought the work was brilliant, some thought it was bullshit. Nevertheless, it did not take away from the fact that it was indeed art. Warhol just saw it ahead than all of us.

This will be an ongoing series that I will expound on and play with so there will be more variations and permutations of the Brilliant/Bullshit series.

Dollar Marilyn Series

Works

ARTIST STATEMENT

This series is about people’s fascination with fame, wealth and the desire for validation. Warhol made Marilyn Monroe a subject of his works because he was fascinated by stardom, fame and the glory that came with it. His Monroe pieces embodied and glorified Marilyn who indeed became a larger than life figure. He cemented the iconic symbol that Marilyn was. This fascination then led to the famous line about fifteen minutes of fame.

Now, with social media, that rings true more than ever. Everyone wants their fifteen minutes. Everyone wants to be an influencer. Wants to trend. Wants to go viral. Wants the attention, the money and the fame that goes with being a social media darling. People go through great lengths; most even daring questionable lengths just to get those views and likes spiking. Algorithm baby!

However, what most often forget is that Marilyn’s life, although dream-like, was also a tragedy. Even Warhol’s Marilyns were not perfect. He was aware that it was not real life. That it was a beautiful mirage he shared with us.

With this series, I want to show that fine line between immortality and cautionary tale. This will be an ongoing series with multiple variations down the line.

SOLD!

Works

ARTIST STATEMENT

The work is a re-imagining of Roy Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!” painting. The original depicted a fighter plane destroying another one in the midst of combat. It also showed what thoughts occurred to the surviving fighter pilot at that instant. A moment of glorious victory.

In this version, I used the same analogy for how an artist feels within the art market and his pursuit of an art “career”. It is always about survival. A fear and anticipation of whether or not you live to paint another day or you would have to rebuild or be lost in obscurity. Whether it’s a show or an auction, the artist’s future is in the hands of another – a gallery, a curator, an auction house and so on. The artist can only do so much, can only put out his best, but the true battle begins when the work leaves the studio.

Am I good enough? Will this sell? How do I keep my integrity? What will I paint next? What does this mean? Who will like this? These questions and a million others plague the artist with every canvas and that in itself is another war.

Same with the thoughts and sighs of momentary relief in Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!”, the word Sold has the same effect to an artist. A temporary alleviation of the fear and dread that comes every single time we put ourselves out there.

ARTIST STATEMENT

This series is based off Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl”. In the original, the drowning girl says, “I don’t care! I’d rather sink – than call Brad for help!” Even in the face of danger and doom, the girl chooses to preserve her pride and dignity rather than call for “Brad”. There is a dark humor in that stubbornness. It may seem foolish but at the moment makes sense and becomes a determined decision for the girl.

My version says, “I don’t care! This is not a Lichtenstein –”. The sentiment carries the same sense self-worth (or lack thereof) and foolish pride as the original drowning girl. However, with this work

I also want to show a true sense of determination. I want the viewer to see that the work wants to exist, but exist on its own merit. It would rather die than become a Lichtenstein.

A true artist wants to be himself. Wants to exist as himself and be recognized as himself. He wants his works to carry his name and stand on their own. He wants to be his own brand. He wants to be discovered and be able to carve his own path. He wants his works to sell for themselves and not because of his name. He wants his work to be respected and his name to be remembered. Even if it is not a name in the same light as a Lichtenstein.

BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1980. Lives in Manila, Philippines

Ronald Caringal is like the Pop Art antithesis of a Pop artist. His works are expressed in vivid colors, meticulously laid down lines with familiar imagery and yet, they carry a deeper undertone that defies the surface. Pop art, mostly known for the celebration of contemporary influences narrowly escapes the artist’s grasp. The artist prefers to consistently ask the whys of everything in his works. Witty, funny, dark, crude and sometimes downright sarcastic, he plays his subjects – children’s book characters, pop culture icons, comic book images, portraits, erotica and even typography, like a psychiatrist wanting to state the obvious to someone oblivious to the point. A true reflection of modern day life in its aesthetic sensibilities and creative approach, the polish and finish of his pieces remind us of images we see on our smartphones, television screens, tablet and billboards. His works are like eye-candies for someone with a toothache. The fun is there but the tragedy is unavoidable. He shows us something familiar because he wants us to ask why it is familiar.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

2019
– HYPE HOW ARE YOU? I’M FINED THANK YOU, Vinyl On Vinyl, Makati Philippines
2016
– IN THE BEGINNING, Underground Gallery, Makati, Philippines
2013
– COMIC reLEAF, Utterly Art, Singapore
– I USED TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO MYSELF NOW WE JUST ARGUE, Blanc Gallery, Katipunan, Philippines
2011
– FRINGE WITH BENEFITS, Blanc Peninsula, Makati, PhilippinesPOINT AND SHOOT, The Metro Gallery, San Juan, Philippines
2010
– PUFF THE MAGIC JARGON, Blanc Peninsula, Makati, Philippines
2009
– FIRST IMPRESSION LUSTS, Hiraya Gallery, Manila, Philippines
2008
– SIGH, The Cubicle Art Gallery, Pasig, Philippines
– COMMITMENT reISSUES, Utterly Art, Singapore
2005
– I HARDLY RECOGNIZE YOU, Store For All Seasons, Philippines
– FUCK ART, SEX SELLS, AND THE SCIENCE OF BODY LANGUAGE, The Cubicle Art Gallery, Pasig, Philippines

SELECTED AUCTIONS:

Sotheby’s Hong Kong (Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings (2009 – 2012)
33 Auctions Singapore (2010 – 2014)
Leon Auctions Manila (2015)
Salcedo Auctions Makati (2015)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

Imagine Magazine Issue 3 – Ronald Caringal, We Are The Bored Generation
The Philippine Star May 2008 – Love, Diaries, Tears And Sighs, Welcome Back Ronald Caringal
Metro Society June 2008 – Hot Property, The New Generation Of Artists You Need To Know
Metro Magazine April 2009 – Of Art And Giving, Ronald Caringal Is A Clever Artist With A Cause
The Philippines Yearbook 2009
Monday Magazine Issue 1 2010 – Ronald Caringal, Methodological Artesan
Without Walls – A Tour Of Philippine Paintings At The Turn Of The Millennium 2010
Contemporary Art Philippines Issue No. 8 2010 (cover) – What Lies Ahead For Philippine Art?
Young Artist Interview: Ronald Caringal, Wallpaper Magazine Thailand 2012