Alarming x Surrealista brings together Mark Belicario and Maria Francisca Juarez, two seemingly disparate artists whose work is underpinned by a fear and fascination of nature’s ability to at once consume yet sustain us.
Mark Belicario exorcises his fear of the ocean through his compositions. Taking inspiration from the seascape masters of yore–J.M.W. Turner, Winslow Homer, and Katsushika Hokusai–Belicario renders thick tempestuous waves in his painting “Embracing the Waves I,” meticulously molding every ebb and flow to his liking as a symbolic gesture of control over that which gives him anxiety and fear.
Triumph and beauty in the midst of adversity is at the heart of Maria Francisca Juarez’s work. Juarez hails from Toledo City in Cebu which, not unlike the rest of the Philippines, has experienced its fair share of natural disasters. Just last year, Juarez herself experienced the wrath of Typhoon Odette.
The destruction left in its wake inspired her to create the works included in the exhibit. Within each piece is the dichotomy of ruin and rebirth––ramshackle houses and dried earth coexist with lush greenery and vibrant hues. All this is rendered through Juarez’ vigorous brush strokes, bringing them to life with aplomb and inviting the viewer to reflect on and recognize both the terror and beauty of the world we live in.