Nemo Aguila’s recent works are more explorative in composition this time. Like how his usual portraits have always evoked a certain playful and exploding feeling, this new set of works have matured with more elements of color sprawling towards the portrait image on the center of his work. This carnivalesque rendition of pictures is the artist’s way of presenting the naive, simplistic nature of youth, and how sometimes it could all turn out to be a complex, confusing journey of finding oneself. Nemo is deeply inspired by age-old Filipino proverbs. These aphorisms, according to the artist, have been the conceptual framework on which his works are drawn into life. He questions the validity of their existence in the modern times, or even if they do make any sense at all. This curiosity turns into a commentary, which in turn metamorphoses into visual works of art. This transformation is almost natural for Nemo, because he tries his best to confront his art-making in a method of unpretentiousness and simplistic rawness. Perhaps this is because of his background in graffiti where he used his trademark green one-eyed monster character (almost like an alter ego to himself) to infest the abandoned walls of the north and south.
Repeated patterns are also noticeably present in this series, perhaps screened or stenciled. This is a common practice of graffiti artists, due to illegality of the process. A stenciled work is somehow provides you with an easier escape plan and the work would take just a few seconds to make. The artist’s choice of colors has expanded in variety this time. There was more in the mix, and details feel like tasty candy yet it retains this local grittiness, like bootleg junk food wrappers dipped in industrial paint. This all in all reflects Nemo’s fascination with local pop art culture. It mirrors our understanding, our way of thinking, and perhaps, our procedure when dealing with problems. It somehow expresses our relaxed nature and our being suckers for entertainment and incorporating them with our everyday lives (like local movie one-liners) and eventually holding on to them to define us in the annals of history.