Mike Crisostomo’s Rocky Mountain High Opening Night

 

 

We went by Neil Young instead to fill out the dead space of chatter of the opening of Mike’s Rocky Mountain High as John Denver would be redundant and literal. A few beers and a couple of Suntory (to represent Ken Watanabe) with dear friends and new friends. It’s almost like being on Rocky Mountain High.

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Mike with Jed Escueta & Ian Madrigal who’ll be setting up a Zine fest sometime in May in Blueroom Gallery in Bangkal, Makati

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Coincidentally, Maria Ozawa is also in town, but no, she wasn’t at this opening but Julia Clarete was. So everything good. 😉

 

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Rocky Mountain High is on view until June 6.

(photos by LC and Marvin Garcia)

 

 

 

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Mike Crisostomo : Rocky Mountain High opens on April 28 at Post Cubao X

ROCKY MT HIGH MIKE INVITE

Rocky Mountain High was penned by John Denver as a homage to the snowy mountains of Colorado which he had been very fond of. Typically folksy in a jangly strumming, it’s also an ode to a solitary activity of climbing up a mountain and being overwhelmed by the spectacle of a panoramic view of nature, or scaling the heights of the sublime as we tend to associate representations of nature, of vast landscapes, and trekking up heights to take in all this magnificence as the sublime, taking after romanticists in their eternal quest for the total ideal beauty in the boundless magnificence of nature, and to create as spurred from this awe.

When sir George Mallory was asked why climb Mt. Everest, he curtly replied “because it’s there “. To ask a painter why paint, the reply may equally be terse as the question is elementary : “because it has to be painted”. For Mike Crisostomo, the answer veers on the more topical : “because the canvas is blank.” And he proceeds to fill them up with views of shapeless mountain mass, of landscapes, of dirigibles hovering over ranges of flora and swathes of green fields. We see them as these landforms for the patterns that hint at their forms. Nothing much is added to indicate their specificity, as those would only be superfluous in representing them, that a mountain by any other name is but a mountain, or a mountain is a mountain is a mountain just a rose is a rose is a rose, just as a painting of a mountain is a painting of a mountain. To render them in their barest is to get at their purest form, to seek their essence in the immediacy of viewing them.


Most of the time this task though seemingly simple, is one that entails more struggle as to seek this vision is a solitary activity as painting is very much a hermetic exercise in creation, reinforcing the cliché of the tragic-heroics of the painter/artist ever wrestling with the production of a masterpiece. Mike Crisostomo inserts that reference through a small portrait of Ken Watanabe, a Japanese actor known to play tragic-heroic characters in films that have him staring at something so abominably colossal (in Godzilla), or the wabi sabi poesy of a bowl of shoyu ramen (in Tampopo). To merely function as a direct witness to awe and terror was his characters’ sole value, midway through these films, they would be killed off. Or their tragic endings wrought by their own undoing – of merely choosing to gaze, to marvel at such spectacle. John Denver went beyond climbing mountains to fly 2-seater airplanes to see more of the sky and the fields and the mountains. In 1997, on one of his solo flights, he crashed his plane in a bay in California, as Icarus had fallen into the sea of Samos.

“Continue climbing to the top but nobody knows where the top is” (Jiro Dreams of Sushi)

Mike Crisostomo (b.1975, Manila) studied Fine Arts at The University of The Philippines and was into corporate managerial work before doing production design and graphic design which eventually lead to focusing on art with themes that revolve around sublimating Sci-Fi utopian/dystopian visions through painting and photography. He’s also part of the collab project The Weather Bureau which designs propositionary structures and conditions in the idealized state of utopia. They build from seemingly failed plans of defunct totalitarian states and re-adapts and rehabilitates them in their ideal settings or rather in nowherelands in timeless stasis.

He’s been exhibited in various local galleries and has had his first solo exhibit Picture Not So Perfect at Blanc in 2014. Rocky Mountain High is his 2nd solo exhibit

Petals and The Evergreen exhibit opening

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Petals and The Evergreen, the exhibit by Olivia and Jay, opens in a timely season of summer. We don’t have spring, but flowers abloom in these extended days of clear blue sunny skies and sweltering heat. Aside from the indoor AC of the gallery, the sight of greenery and flora from their works offer a refreshing respite.

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Perfect transport to take in all the summer breeze

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Olivia and Jay will present an art talk to discuss about in depth their ideas for their works and their individual processes on April 22 Wednesday at 6PM. Please send an email or message us on FB for inquiries and reservations as slots for the talk is limited but open to the public.

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