Manuel Ocampo (b. 1965, Phillippines)
In search of the icon for the 22nd century, 2016
Oil on canvas
170 x 120 cm.
Signed and dated by the artist verso
The artist about this work:
‘A vulture with a top hat sitting on a cloud, his cane propped to one side, while a big smear of magenta clings to the foreground. We now have the tragic figure of the melancholy conceptualist, alone in an empty space waiting desperately for a revolutionary idea to come to him or her, or worse still, waiting for the next idea to come, trying to reinvent their work after their first success’.
(Manuel Ocampo, 2016)
About the artist
Manuel Ocampo (b. 1965 Philippines) currently lives and works in Manila, Philippines and in Southern France. Ocampo has been a vital presence on the international art scene for over twenty years and is now the most internationally active contemporary artist from the Philippines.
Ocampo’s first solo show, which took place in Los Angeles in 1988, set the stage for a rapid rise to international prominence. By the early 1990s, his reputation was firmly established, with inclusion in two of the most important European art events, Documenta IX (1992) and the Venice Biennale (1993).
Also in the early 1990s, he participated in the legendary exhibition Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992).
Ocampo’s works are among else represented in the major public collections like MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, MUDAM Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg and many more.
Ocampo is known for fearlessly tackling the taboos and cherished icons of society and of the art world itself. During the 1990s, he was noted for his bold use of a highly charged iconography that combined Catholic imagery with motifs associated with racial and political oppression, creating works that make powerful, often conflicted, statements about the vicissitudes of personal and group identities. His works illustrate, often quite graphically, the psychic wounds that cut deep into the body of contemporary society. They translate the visceral force of Spanish Catholic art, with its bleeding Christs and tortured saints, into our postmodern, more secular era of doubt, uncertainty, and instability.