Ernest Concepcion

“The Lower East Side has been a significant place and an integral part of my creative career since I moved to New York from Manila in 2002. My first few friends that I met introduced me to ABC NO RIO, I had a residency at the Artists Alliance Inc. and eventually showed at Cuchifritos, had one of my first solo exhibitions in Manhattan at NY Studio Gallery, and a number of group shows in the hood. Though I live in Brooklyn, I could say I also “work” in LES.”
My works are experiments on photo-based and landscape portraiture. I employ concepts of war in the process, charging at each painting with renderings of fantastical elements onto straightforward historical imagery, and intervening onto tranquil landscapes with drawn armies marching across the horizon. Compulsive patterns, lines and obsessive detail define my illustrative work. Sketches and doodles burgeon into wall-size ink drawings that traverse painting. The enamel paintings are nostalgic reminiscences of my upbringing as a Filipino using popular culture and kitschy references like the stickers found in our public transportation jeepneys and street art to make witty, acerbic statements. It is an ongoing exploration on material and personal beliefs.