Published September 10, 2020
With a career spanning some 30 odd years, Marcel Antonio's art has attracted many interpretations of it's visual language, his dream-like soap opera sets of the mysteries and drama of the face, actors "more aware of events in their minds than of objects around them," to quote his fellow artist, Jojo Soria De Veyra.
It was during the height of Philippine social realism and expressionism in painting, that Antonio found his groove and laid the groundwork of his contribution to Philippine art. Instead of painting the simple joys and the hardships of the poor, the drug of many Filipino painters, or adopting the distorted figurism of painters such as Borlongan and Olmedo, Antonio made use of the power of a sensual line and generous colors to carry forth his so-called pseudo-narrative figurative paintings.
Picasso's blue period, an eroticized melancholia, Chagall's gravity-defying narrative trope and liquefied colors, defamiliarization, magic realism, Philippine post-expressionism, these associations and more have been in the conversation to appraise their richness. And as a painter schooled in postmodernist thought, Antonio probably accepts of all of that, even as he resigns to what he acknowledges as a delusion, originality.
Marcel Antonio has exhibited his work in many of the Philippines major galleries. With work that has been auctioned many times, his following includes local and international collectors. He has also exhibited in Berlin, Australia, and Singapore.