Text by Sara Grace Fojas
Page Design by Pinggot Zulueta
Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you. —‘Cancer’ My Chemical Romance
At 29 years old, Ronante Maratas is afraid of mortality. Consisting of bright and colorful brush strokes, his works feel like they are inside a child’s dream, yet beneath are hidden eyes watching over him— ready to take him anytime.
This is what the artist showcased at his seventh solo exhibition “Sleep is Sacred” presented by Ysobel Art Gallery at Yuchengco Museum Inc., in Makati City. With his sporadic thoughts, he turns his nightmares into colorful sceneries but with its monsters and demons still there trying to get him. He uses his brush with the hope that this will distract him from his nightly struggles and put him back to his sweet slumber.
“I have a fear of pain and death. I wanted to move on from overthinking and stress. Most of the time, there’s this war in my head between me and myself. It’s like I’m questioning my own sanity whenever I paint,” says Maratas who considers his art as Psychopathologic Art or the “art of the mad men.” In a research conducted by Dr. Latif Akhan of Bulent Ecevit University in Turkey, psychopathological art enables an individual to see their artistic work as a mirror to find themselves and watch their behaviors.
THE BLACK PARADE INFLUENCE
Maratas started drawing at a very young age. His love for the rock band My Chemical Romance greatly influenced him to take Fine Arts.
“Gerard Way, the vocalist of the international band My Chemical Romance got me into taking Fine Arts at FEATI University solely because I am a hardcore fan of his music and art. The whole ‘Black Parade’ album is my favorite but the song Cancer might be the reason why I became unconsciously afraid of our mortality,” he says.
From then on, he slowly gained interest in street art and pop surreal art because of the Filipino street artist Nemo Aguila.
“Nemo is my greatest influence in the Philippine art scene and I still look up to him until now. When it comes to international artists, I can say Guernic and his painting Guernica really changed my perspective in art. At school, I learned a lot from my professors Neil dela Cruz, Aner Sebastian, Joseph Villamar, and our dean, Janice Young,” shares Maratas.
Art, for Maratas, is his way of finding himself, of being in control of what he can and letting go of what he can’t. It is his weapon in fighting his inner monsters.
“My art evolved naturally as I matured. At first, I only think of doing things that are exciting to my eyes now I learn to listen and express what I feel. I love working at nighttime because all the noisy kids outside are asleep. Whenever I paint, I look for the things I can’t see. Most of the time I destroy my painting just to fix it all over again,” he ends.