REVERSED EXPOSURES by Dave Lock
Olan Ventura says that everything came from negatives.
Death, sin, temptation, and all the pretty, frail little things that endlessly surrounds the flesh…these are the things that make us human, and yet at the same time, they’re also what takes us closer towards our own, personal domains of destruction.
As an artist, Ventura delves into the existence of these things, and through his own perceiving of subsistence, he redefines such absolutes in a more broader way, turning them into something more than what they were really meant to be. In a reversed way maybe, in where what is supposed to be evil subsequently becomes good. “Because sometimes, we tag someone as disgraceful and malicious, and in the end, we would just realized that it’s not, and more than that, it’s even the opposite of what it was viewed to be. and the real disgraceful, we realize, is the things that we thought were not”.
Perhaps, the real tragedy of being an artist is the depressing paradox of seeing beauty in the things that were never meant to represent such. As a silent spectator, Olan rummages over the places where these things take place and breathe, mentally identifying the characters around him and theorizing what turned them to the things that they really are, and if they really are the things that they were originally labeled to be.
Clearly derived from real human sources, the figures presented in the paintings are representations of real people that are acquainted with the artist, people who are actually, and almost literally exhaling pain for each breath that they take in. To further heighten the drama contained within his narratives, Olan refashions the image of the classic nude and other figures into a certain state of negative exposure, creating an eerie feeling that was embodied in the painting’s visual aesthetic as the colors were further reversed. As a complete inversion of the positive image, the bodies portrayed in the paintings are now reduced into a bluish-black state, with its dark parts reverting into a clear flash of white. Small areas, or perhaps certain figures involved in the works were chosen to be left in a positive state, signifying that if there is something to be viewed in negativity, there is always an opposite which we think is holy and ideal.
That’s why when exposed to an infrared camera, the artist’s creations simultaneously switch roles. The sacred becomes the foul, as the foul transforms into being sacred. According to Ventura, this simply implies not only the differences in human perceiving but also the errors that we often encounter during judgment. Because in a world where nothing is what it appears to be, everyone must look further beyond a person’s initial character and appearance, because if it takes no effort to hide in the dark, then it’s a lot easier to mold a camouflage form within a deceiving world that’s overflowing with negative light.