Maribojoc, Denmark traded engineering for art.
The main themes of Denmark Maribojoc’s second solo exhibition, titled As Light Whispers, at Art Underground, are gentle lighting and delicate femininity.
A 24-year-old artist gained recognition on social media for his pandemic-inspired artwork. He was subsequently invited to participate in group exhibitions, including one at Galerie Joaquin, Art Underground’s sister gallery. His first solo show at Art Underground concluded in May, after which he began preparing for his current exhibit, which can be viewed until Oct. 6. Mr. Maribojoc recently gave BusinessWorld a tour of the exhibit.
Light Whispers features 11 women dressed in period attire, representing different eras such as Victorian, Renaissance, and medieval. The use of soft lighting creates a gentle contrast on their faces, reminiscent of the Italian technique of chiaroscuro. This method, often used in portraiture, highlights the subject’s features while keeping the background dark and mysterious. Mr. Maribojoc, who is inspired by his favorite artist Caravaggio, employs this technique in his paintings, particularly those with religious or mythological themes. His pieces range from P30,000 to P75,000 and were all sold at the time of the viewing.
The garments closely resemble the intricate designs found in previous masterpieces, with delicate lace details and realistic fabric creases and folds. However, the facial features have been modernized for the present era, taking inspiration from popular animated characters like those in Tangled and Frozen. According to Preston Blair, a Disney animator and author of Advanced Animation, cuteness in art can be defined as having proportions similar to a baby and displaying expressions of shyness or coyness. This includes larger, widely-spaced eyes and small noses and mouths, which can be observed on the faces of Mr. Maribojoc’s subjects.
However, he focuses less on the faces and more on the light illuminating them: “The more I manipulate light, the more I evoke emotion.” This could reflect changes in art perspectives, as in the past, light was utilized to highlight art’s connection to reality; whereas now (with subjects closer to animated works), light is employed to emphasize emotion.
Mr. Maribojoc cites feminism as his inspiration for focusing on female faces. He aims to use his art to showcase the duality of women as both gentle and strong.
During the pandemic, he focused on pursuing his passion for art and put his engineering studies on hold since he found the online class format to be ineffective for him. His former hobby has now turned into his source of income. He shared, “I feel like I enjoy painting more now.” He also mentioned that his previous pursuits were filled with pressure and gave him headaches.
The exhibit “As Light Whispers” by Denmark Maribojoc can be seen at Art Underground until October 6th. Art Underground is situated at 2F Mabini180, 180 A. Mabini, Brgy. Addition Hills, San Juan, Metro Manila and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays. For any questions, please email [email protected]. – JL Garcia