Published November 22, 2021
Masi Oliveria’s paintings eschew the controlled and polished planes of Neoclassical painting. Hers is distinctive, irreverent, deformed, and often mixing madness and beauty in her figurative output. While there are preserved elements of emotion and perhaps even high drama, her pictorial inventions are purposefully devoid of sentimentality---an essential quality that may not be fully understood. Interpretations of Oliveria’s oeuvre could well be half-hidden in the profusion of her artistry, with sharp truths of observations shrouded in her witty caricatures of prosaic undertakings.
Interestingly, Oliveria’s strange figures become a stand-in for the chaos of contemporary life as she injects twists of literary fiction and Kunsterroman tales, a genre with a long and celebrated past. Most heavily influenced by the contrasting aesthetics of old master painting and pop art, her prose-novelistic narratives portray a frenzied existence, fraught with turbulence and decay with a complexity on its own as her characters find metaphoric footing in their ironic fates.
Masi Oliveria is a graduate of University of Asia and the Pacific. She worked as a writer and started painting in 2018, exhibiting her work at alternative art spaces, particularly Kalawakan Spacetime and Project 20 Gallery in Quezon City. She has also exhibited her works in group shows at Art Informal Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, and District Gallery. Her works were also included at the 2020 Art Fair Philippines through Project 20 Gallery.