Vrindavan by John Marin




The Cultural Center of the Philippines with support from Art Verite and The Working Animals Art Projects


Opening reception: 14 May, Thursday, 6pm
Artist talk: 28 May, Thursday, 2pm

Exhibit duration: 14 May to 14 June 2015

Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (2F Hallway Gallery), 2nd floor CCP Main Theater Building



The art of John Marin embraces a wide range of subjects that are woven together by his penchant for employing metaphors and the nostalgic touch of monochromatic rendering. The canvases he produces often exhibit a kind of duality in character: calm and serene, on one hand; eerie and disturbing, on the other. It can be haunting yet tranquil and comforting at the same time. His compositions are charged with personal narratives and musings on life experiences.

In this exhibition, we are taken into a universe defined by sites and people that fuel his creative process. Marin calls it Vrindavan, named after a holy forested region believed by the Hindus to be the cradle of Krishna’s childhood. He conveys ideas of innocence and purity; alludes to home and places where he finds his inner sanctum for brewing artistic ideas; pays homage to kin and loved ones. The works are unified by the recurring image of the lotus, an aquatic plant replete with symbolic associations across cultures. Regarded as sacred in several religious traditions, it can signify beauty, fertility, prosperity and the transience of life. The lotus is but one among the many symbolic figures the artist accommodates in his repertoire that communicate a sense of spirituality in his works: from angels and cherubim to the bulul of the Ifugao.


This collection highlights the enduring allure of symbolic language in our visual culture and the significance of time, place, faith and relationships in human experience.