Social realist artist Marvin Chito Natural once again nailed it fair and square the very pressing and relevant societal concern on children’s plight. Them is in fact and in reality about us, whose journey through life cannot be devoid of interaction and association with children and the youth. It is never passé to tackle and reflectively discourse about them. Such is the essence of Them, an erudition in itself and a personal advocacy of not just any artist but a discerning, enlightened and purposive one.
Paraphrasing Friedrich Nietzsche quote “Man in general is the cruellest animal, inventing hell (distraction) for himself, and behold, this is his very heaven,” has significantly inspired the social realist in Marvin Chito Natural to conscientiously resonate and without qualms pose queries on what would become of humanity should the issues of today’s children and youth are left unresolved and unattended. Them is a glimpse of what could be a challenging and a bleak future for them, our very own children, the children of our times and the children of our society.
Resolute on his thrust, he adamantly advances through his canvases the urgent need to take heed, to immerse, to appreciate and understand the experience of children. The emancipation from multi-faceted economic, political and even health issues confronting the lives of children, and of the youth, compel us at this very hour. Interestingly, Them has significant pieces that deal with the importance of clean and potable water for children. Depicting a happy mood through the abundance of water also brings to light the examen of its sustainability as nature’s most basic resource amidst the increasing threat of climate change. That’s just one of the gazillion concerns. The long and short of it, he quips, “My art can't possibly provide all the answers. I just hope it asks the right questions."
Them brings us some deep, critical and substantive stories of children. Each piece is part of that one big story about them. As a self-taught and award-winning artist, Marvin Chito Natural’s ardour for the art is the result of the synthesis of his ample exposure with various artists and to local art community, continuous self-edification and training in museum curatorial practice. While modernism is most often considered in terms of stylistic innovation, the social realist in him believed that the political content of his recent works made it contemporary…very contemporary. Preserving the traditional technique of art-making and yet instilling in his works the openness to the modern way of representing a subject, Marvin Chito Natural has indeed a relevant contemporary story to tell. This time, a story about the children, a story about them.
Immerse with Them commencing this November 24 onwards, only here at the Qube Gallery, Crossroads Banilad, Cebu City.
Vinnie Tan, Curator