Reynold Dela Cruz presents his examination of different coping mechanisms as we enter an era where the inevitable happens. The pandemic, civil unrests, calamities, and events that redefine our society; how we determine to continue with our lives despite these conditions. In “Counterflow”, our repressed feelings are fought with courage and valor. Hidden among the portrayals of beauty are the narratives made diminutive compared to the rest of the world but remain pertinent in our understanding of humanity.
Throughout his art practice, Dela Cruz traversed with the notion of how society perceives beauty and its relation to human desire. His paintings depict women possessed with physical characteristics that tradition dictates as delightful. However, these depictions are centered along with images and elements that usually oppose our initial impression of the subject.
The exhibitionponders on mortality and survival as we are faced with a predicament that supersedes individual dilemmas.Apparent representations of dualities are reflected in Dela Cruz’s works—light and dark; good and evil; trust and betrayal. The narratives presented are deeply seethed in our emotional state when we think of the way we interact in a realm where people have their agendas and values only to be affected by a collective quandary.
An example lies in “Wild Garden” where a goddess-like entity rests in the middle of flowers and plants. Burrowed in thisensemble is a skull that reminds us of our borrowed time on earth. Meanwhile, Dela Cruz’s “Deep Kiss” reveals the acceptance of death. Recognizing the temporariness of our existence should ask us to make life more meaningful, no matter how small the feat. In “Play”, the way we dance with the game of life sends us to move even in a time of doubt and uncertainty.
Lastly, Dela Cruz cuts through the canvas as a way to finalize the process of scrutinizing beauty. The action becomesa physical dissection and a research into the depths of what has been represented. Then, the artist attaches safety pins to gather the sliced pieces together; a sort of practice in redemption and a way to meet conventions in an alternative way.
– Gwen Bautista, Curator