Roldan Cruz Ventura, also known as Manok in artistic circles, is a visual artist from a family steeped in artistic talent. He earned his Fine Arts degree from the University of the East and further refined his skills by actively participating in various painting competitions. His achievements include securing second place in the 20th Metrobank YPA National Painting Competition in 2003 and clinching the Grand Prize for the 3rd Nokia Arts Competition in 2001. With seven solo exhibitions and numerous group shows across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan, Manok is celebrated for his distinctive ability to find art in timeless scenarios and discarded objects.
Fascinated by familiar and neglected items, such as old walls from his daily commute, Manok captures these urban backdrops through photography. He then breathes new life into these "damaged goods" on canvas, transforming something old into something new. Known for his meticulous attention to detail and adherence to photorealistic techniques, he employs fine brushes to replicate chipped paint and corrosion, investing weeks or even months in the creation of each large-scale piece. Despite the time-intensive process, Manok describes the execution as spontaneous, allowing his brushstrokes to guide the direction of his work, often resulting in a near-abstract finish. By leaving interpretation to the viewer, Manok invites them to perceive, narrate, and carve their own histories from his art.
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