Phantom Theory : acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in. 2019

“Phantom Theory” is an evolution from the “The Line Wars” and “Battlefield Landscapes”. It reflects my interest on conflict-based imagery of massive invasions and epic occupations. Highly inspired by pop culture, video games and the inter-dimensional tropes of fantasy writers, Roger Zelazny and Michael Moorcock, the style of “Phantom Theory” harkens back in 2002 when I first moved to New York. Possibly feeling the isolation and aggressive need to express myself as a fresh, new immigrant artist humorously labeled by my colleagues as “fresh-off-the-boat” but personally feels more like a “i-am-here-to-invade”. Coming back to the Philippines in 2013 reinvigorated my desire to tell a story through my paintings for storytelling is very much embedded in our culture, whether it be real or not; and like any other good story, it demands conflict. “Phantom Theory” could be about phantom conquistadors retaking Old Manila through dimensional rifts, or perhaps tired souls seeking better conditions outside a ravaged city while a cybernetic figure that seems fused to his own tank bids them to stop…or possibly surrender.

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