In his latest one-man exhibit, titled Traces, Manok preserves in his canvas remnants and residues of a variety of found materials, as marked by time, detachment, and purpose. As most people let these barely noticeable materials freely roam the streets, or simply throw them away, spots their creative potential and turns them into unique objects of art.
Continuing what he has done with Yesterday a year ago, Manok ups the ante by adding photographs into the visual mix, interspersing perspective all at once. Regarding everything around him as a possible subject for his next piece, he takes photographs of seemingly ordinary objects as often as he can, while mentally drafting compositions, and placing them on a new dimension, as immortalizing their existence in his mind and later on canvas. The process, from conceptualization to execution, can take months, especially if they are rendered in a large scale. Manok likes to focus on detail, staying true to his photorealist bent though often resulting in near-abstract works. It is then up to the viewer to put the pieces together and make up the object’s backstory. None of the works are titled, giving viewers even more freedom to interpret the images. Manok only gives hints, traces of where the object came from, and shades of its aftermath.
He says he wants to capture their natural appearance, their intrinsic beauty. It is part of what he enjoys about painting – recreating the essence of his subjects, extending their usefulness through art.