Published October 21, 2020
Richard Quebral's mixed media canvases are his observations of contemporary material culture and sedentary comfort. He presents the viewer with slices of domestic life, images based on memory, notions of suburban humdrum and prosperity, and the pictorial language of collage.
However, Quebral does not present this life with idyllic pictures and dreams fulfilled. The details of his homebodies, driveways, living rooms, bungalow facades, starter homes, and all-around modern domesticity reveal that not all is well or safe.
For his show "Don't block the driveway" at Finale Art File, writer/curator Mayumi Hirano points out the resemblance of Quebral's images to 8-bit video games. They are games with no goals that spaces of lasting comfort, security, and status are unattainable. And Quebral drives that point home with titles that emphasize their illusory nature, titles like "filmed right in front of a live studio audience."
Sex is excess. Loving couples lie to one another. People escape or medicate through purchased comforts and entertainment. Privacy is an illusion. There are eyes everywhere. In other words, domestic life can be a trap. His houses are factory machines with conveyor belts that lull their inhabitants into a numbness. These figures are zombie-like cogs, caught in a rhythm of conflict, boredom, and dissatisfaction.
Richard Quebral is an Ilocos-based Filipino contemporary artist. Once a licensed nurse, he has had a number of successful solo shows since 2017. They highlight a consistent and growing approach to making thought-provoking images. He was the main featured artist of Art in the Park 2020.