Anton Villaruel’s ‘Imbaysib’ opens at Gallery.Sort.Of

Villaruel’s art offers an analogy between plants and the many other ways the Philippines is invaded.

Artist Anton Villaruel’s ongoing exhibit is an indictment of invasive plant species that make their way onto Philippine shores, and insidiously make their home deep into native soil, infesting and uprooting indigenous species. Yes, it is a statement on both the environmental purity and the dangers of cross-border pollination. 

Artist and printmaker Anton Villaruel's “Imbaysib”
Artist and printmaker Anton Villaruel’s “Imbaysib” is ongoing at Gallery.Sort.Of.

Whether it’s by colonialist powers or Hollywood brainwashing, the strong man leadership demonstrated by dictators, or even the ubiquitousness of social media—the Philippines is awash in the influence of external forces that it is powerless to block.  And so, gradually, cumulatively, and perhaps fatally, we fall prey to alien influences.

Anton Villaruel's “Imbaysib”
Artist and printmaker Anton Villaruel's “Imbaysib” at the Gallery.Soft.Of

K-drama. Crypto-currency. Thai BL.  Artificial intelligence.  Scams. Hackers. POGOS.  We are bombarded.  We are overrun. Perhaps we shall survive. Perhaps we shall fuse and amalgamate, and then mutate. But we might also be replaced by the invader, drinking deep from our nurturing soil.

It is time to reflect, even as roots strangle our souls.

Villaruel is a printmaker based in Biñan, Laguna. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a degree of Bachelor in Fine Arts, and is a member of the Association of Pinoyprintmakers Inc. 

Artist and printmaker Anton Villaruel's “Imbaysib” Philippine Art

His most recent works include participation and contributions to the 20/30: A Limited Edition Print Portfolio project for the Cultural Center of the Philippines; the completion of a two-month printmaking residency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia under Chetak 12; a solo release by Cartellino titled “Mga Lamang Poste,”; “Day One” group show at Altro Mondo art gallery; “Perjalanan,” a two-man exhibition, at the CCP; “Ukit” at the Bencab Museum; and “Parched Earth Ardent Spring” at UP Vargas Museum. 

Philippine Artist and printmaker Anton Villaruel's “Imbaysib”

Catch Villaruel’s show at Gallery.Sort.Of, located at 37 Camaro St., Fairview Park, Quezon City.

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