In Filipino Artist David Viray`s solo show at Kaida Contemporary called “I love you, Earth” there are three paintings one won’t forget. There’s the one called “Bill Gates,” where a figure is running clutching a stretched canvas that covers his seemingly naked body. The whole scene is an ever so subtle sight gag because the back of the stretched canvas facing us purposefully resembles the Windows 95 logo. Does the title allude to the man outsmarted by the running man, a Filipino hacker who almost caused global panic with a virus disguised as a love letter?
His painting “Professional Mishandling“ is the inside of a cave that's also the interior of a skull, the picture of a mind at work. Different characters at a crude operating table work in a spectral green and purple glow. Is the mind reviving itself amidst its own shadows and imagined scenarios? A floating crystalline orb suggests mystic renewal, something beyond logic. Like many of his paintings, it’s a complex mise-en-scene of figures and subtle symbols that doubles as a commentary on the self or on the artist and his world.
The third is a set of paintings called “Arty fist,” a delectable and straightforward title. The set depicts a series of hands in misshapen gestures at the arty activity of painting. Their twisted shapes suggest the impossible and stressful quest to satisfy the creative urge, taking the mind and emotions to absurd places. The artifice is in the meaningfulness of this activity, an expression of the artist’s self-doubt or the search for purpose.
David Ryan Viray is a Filipino Contemporary artist who has had solo exhibitions at West Gallery, Kaida Contemporary, Finale Art Gallery, Secret Fresh, Sampaguita Projects, and Underground. He has participated in numerous local group exhibitions in Manila and Bacolod, as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, USA.