Looking at The Times Through The Eyes of Charlie Co

  • by Elo Dinglasan

Ateneo Art Gallery presents The World According to Charlie Co: Drawings and Works on Paper, on display at Wilson L Sy Prints & Drawings Gallery, Areté, until July 5, 2020. Comprising his artworks made in the past four decades, Co's series chronicles events personal, social, and political, rendered in his signature surrealist style.

Allegorical, symbolic, satirical—and for that, at times, funny—Co’s paintings are host to a private iconography, one he had built throughout his illustrious career. Distorted clowns, portentous crows, and a beating heart, to name a few, recur in Co’s account of the world. Works hung salon-style across the walls or encased in glass displays alternate between colorful and vibrant paintings to sketches done in weighted, graphite strokes. While the images are arresting, the dreamlike atmosphere in Co’s works are sure to sway viewers from one artwork to the next.

Cartellino The World According To Charlie Co Ateneo Art Gallery 3
Exhibition views of The World According to Charlie Co: Drawings and Works on Paper.
Anarchy, The World According to Charlie Co detail
Anarchy (detail). Pen and ink on paper. 2000.

Since his first solo exhibition in 1983, Charlie Co has received international recognition and prestigious accolades throughout his illustrious career. He has represented the Philippines in countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and China. He also co-founded the sociopolitical group, Black Artists in Asia (BAA), in the 1980s, and then the Orange Gallery in 2005 (now expanded to the Orange Project). Charlie Co is the present chairman of VIVA EXCON 2020.

Charlie Co Profile
Artist Charlie Co. Image courtesy of Ateneo Art Gallery.

The World According to Charlie Co: Drawings and Works on Paper runs until July 5, 2020.