Olan Ventura creates a visual index of Philippine and world art history through portraits of artists blended with imagery appropriated from their most iconic work or a recreation of their signature style. Ranging from the old masters to the young and contemporary, the portraits connect the image with the name and reveal the personality behind the picture—a link or association that often gets obscured when the art becomes the identity of an individual. As the art they produce takes on a life of its own, the artist dissolves into a faceless creator before the very public they move and inspire. This exhibition attempts to add a level of familiarity to the usually impersonal encounter between the artist and viewer, inviting the latter to take a more intimate look into the maker of the image. As the artists are woven into the images they are identified with, they enter the world they had imagined and made visible.
A graduate of fine arts from the University of the East, Olan Ventura has exhibited in group and solo shows in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. He bagged the first place in the 1998 Shell National Students Art Competition and the Juror’s Choice in the 2005 Philippine Art Awards. In 2007, he was declared the Most Outstanding Alumnus of the University of the East in the field of fine arts and culture.