Manuel Ocampo composes his paintings using motifs from popular western iconography, religious symbols, Filipino kitsch, art history, and literature. He believes loaded images to be his tools as an artist—an idea that became manifest in his 2011 exhibition “The Painter’s Equipment.” Ocampo’s provocative works, which are associated with a grunge counter-culture movement, have been decried as controversial, blasphemous, and lewd. He explains: “The strong symbolism in my paintings is presented as empty signs. I want to push the conventions of painting to the point of ridicule…to go beyond thought.” Ocampo’s style is characterized by his use of coarse brushwork and use of vivid colors, in addition to his dark humor and often macabre subject matter. He deeply admires and often quotes Martin Kippenberger.