Ronald VenturaPhilippines

Born in 1973 in Manila, the Philippines, where he continues to live and work, Ronald Ventura ranks as one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation in Southeast Asia. Shortly after graduating from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila (BFA) in 1993, he began to work as an art instructor at College of Fine Arts & Design, his alma mater. Ventura’s paintings and sculptures are now among the most recognizable images of contemporary art in Southeast Asia with their unique combinations of figurative motifs. His work features a complex layering of images and styles, ranging from hyperrealism to cartoons and graffiti. 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.

Exhibitions (excerpts)

2018 “Comic Lives” (Whitestone Ginza New Gallery, Tokyo, Japan)
“Anito Bart” (Ronac Art Center, Manila, Philippines)
“Territorial Crossing” (Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy)
2017 “Territorial Terror” (West Gallery, Quezon City, PH)
“Wild State of Mind” (Tyler Rollins Fine Art Gallery, New York, US)
“Shadow Forest, Encounters and Explorations” (The Metropolitan Museum of Manila)
2016 “Project: Finding Home” (Museum of Contemporary Arts, Taipei, Taiwan)
“Behind the Clouds” (The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Makati City, PH)
“Talisman”, “Anito Kristo” (Ronac Art Center, Magallanes, Makati City, Manila)
“Ronald Ventura-Recent Works” (Primae Noctis Art Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland)
2015 “The Hunting Ground” (Primo Marella Gallery, Milan)
“Ronald Ventura-Recent Works-” (Taiwan Art Fair, World Trade Center, Taipei)
2014 E.R.<Endless Resurrection> (Tyler Rollins Fine Arts, NY)
“Bulul-Ronald Ventura and the traditional art of the Philippines-” (Museo delle Culture, Lugano)
2013 “Voids and Cages” (Perrotin Gallery, Hong Kong, China)
2012 “Fiesta Carnival” (Primo Marella Gallery, Milan)
“Recyclables” (Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore)
“Watching the Watchmen” (Vargas Museum, Quezon City)
2011 “Thousand Islands” (Tyler Rollins Fine Art, NY)
“Humanime (I)” (Fine Art Centre, Taipei)
2010 “Converging Nature” (The Drawing Room, Makati City)
“Fragmented Channels” (Primo Marella Gallery, Milan)
2009 “Metaphysics of Skin” (Tyler Rollins Fine Art, NY)
“Major Highways, Expressways and Principal Arterials” (Ark Galerie, Jakarta, Indonesia)
2008 “Mapping the Corporeal” (Museum of the National University of Singapore, SG)
“Zoomanities” (The Art Center Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PH)
“Body” (The Drawing Room, Makati City)


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    Comic Lives 1


    Oil on canvas

    182.9 × 121.9 cm

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    Comic Lives 3


    Oil on canvas

    121.9 × 182.9 cm



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