EJ  CABANGON

ABOUT EJ

The artist’s Abducted series which was premiered at Primae Noctis Art Gallery in Lugano, Switzerland in April 2015.  It recalls the artist’s early childhood spent watching  televison immersed with popular cartoon characters and lovable Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy , Mario, and Yoshi; then, newer character that came much later such as Stich, Patrick, Spongebob and Martian - who all seem to have experienced some form of ‘close encounter’  with extra-terrestrials, then re-emerging as semi-digested, liquescent species, with their colourful vitality drawn out of them.  Somewhat fictile, they remain recognizably endearing, as if ever ready to shriek up a tale about their exciting adventure.  

 

His strategy of “abduction” can also be seen as commentary of something politically charged; the morphing of childhood symbols created by Western masterminds, or something entirely existential and universal. These  images seem to imply a quiet apocalypse has occurred — sans biblical fire and brimstone, yet far more sinister beckoning your attention. 

 

As an ensemble, the cartoon figures seem to belong to an alternate universe where everything is strange yet familiar, hyperrealist yet abstracted. Literally, a melting pot of the past, the present and the possible. Cabangon has morphed chastity and virtue into  the ravished and violated ; the abducted.  They are transformed pieces of liquefying constructs that are metaphors for loss of innocence - or, a prediction of a future world of misfits .

 

EJ'S   work

Storytelling

Eliezer John Cabangon (born 1973, Philippines) also know as "EJ", graduated from Philippines Women’s University in Manila with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Painting.

A maestro of the ‘dark and perfect art’ – his first overseas exhibition Mirror, Mirror was at Artesan  Singapore in 2007.

 

An interesting essay was written by notable book writer Victor Ocampo:

 

" Eliezer John Cabangon is renowned for his signature hyper-realistic oil paintings rendered in very fine detail and often very vivid colour. Although his style pays much attention to minutiae, his works are never strict interpretations of photographs, nor are they literal illustrations of particular scenes or subjects. Instead, he utilizes subtle pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality which either does not exist or cannot be seen by the human eye. Often his work concern childhood themes of toys and children presented in an almost noir manner, or the pairing of a famous painting or photo with an unexpected commonplace object.

 

The result is often darkly humorous and deeply disturbing. Many of his paintings can be described by that oft-quoted simile from Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror, they are “as beautiful as a chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella” and like that great work, the viewer is left with a profound sense of unease. 

To paraphrase Derrida, we as the audience must endeavour to speak and listen to the dark spectres intrinsic to these artists’ personal visions, despite our fears and the challenges they may pose to our societal or intellectual traditions.The results may surprise us in ways we had not  imagined.  ”

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