The molave tree before it is strong and hard and sturdy, it was a small and fragile sapling. And the young artist from the province where kapeng barako, balisong, and burdang Taal were found, Zorrick Piñero Enriquez is like that fragile-looking molave sapling—but you know that in the coming days, he would be strong and sturdy, an artist to watch for.
Enriquez maybe young, but as an artist, he is as tough as the molave tree and as strong as the kapeng barako that scents the early morning of the busy Batangueños and Batangueñas as they prepare for the long day’s work. His skills can be compared to the balisong—sharp and shiny, and can cut even the toughest wood.
The proof of the statement above was his works—all were carefully and beautifully done, almost without a flaw.
Nudes and Skies
Enriquez has two recurring themes in his painting—nude women and the sceneries, particularly the the skies.
“My nude subjects, these images for me are the image of humanity, of God’s genuine creation,” Enriquez shared to the Reluctant Kritik for this blog.
“It calls for the truth; it is what it is even before we received the breath of God. Our body is our life’s pattern. It is the image of God that makes us whole. It is a sanctuary, a vessel for goodness, for everything that is good in this earth. Thus it should be admired, appreciated in every way. And I show my appreciation through art. Showing what is to be provoked so that others will understand my insight for humanity. That humanity is for the Lord, and that the Lord is with us since the beginning,” he said.
Yes, his nudes were sensual, yet without arousing that unwanted feeling of lust. They were rather veiled with certain degree of mystery, as most of his “girls” were hidden, partially, within the shadows. They were like the maidens of someone else’s dream—they were there, yet they remain illusive for you to touch as they’re like that—beautiful creatures living in betwixt the waking and the dream world.
As Jungian analyst and narrator of stories of old, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. said, in her celebrated book, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995):
“The body is multilingual. It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of non-conviction. It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling. It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the center, and rising hope.”
Indeed, the women in Enriquez’s drawings were celebration of one of God’s most intricate, amazing, mysterious, and fragile creations—the female body, which is both the fountain of life and of death, depending on how you would view it.
His girls, just like those fields and seas and skies that he’s painting, they were also accompanied by that red balloon—the symbol of freedom and of flight and that of simple happiness that a kid can get, as his mom buys him one.
According to one website, balloons signify joy, happiness, and love, and in actuality, they spread the message of enthusiasm and liveliness. But for the balloons that appear in his painting, Enriquez gives a deeper meaning to it.
“If you’ll notice, in every artwork, there’s this highlight. Mine, would be my balloons. Balloons signify my gratefulness to the Lord, for the talent he bestowed upon me. Every balloon has its own meaning and purpose, every color has its own specific emotion into it and every sky it flies up to has its own message. It started with an apparition, God who’s holding my hand as we freely walk without a target destination. I couldn’t see His face clearly because He’s all covered with light, light that warms my heart; this apparition didn’t just happen once, but twice. Before I’d thought that I’ll be entering priesthood, but instead my feet brought me to the field of art. But I knew that those apparitions contain message for my humanity, for my purpose, and that is for me to discover,” Enriquez explained.
Visions and Awakenings
Artists, just like mystics and prophets, definitely are visionaries. They can serve as mediums of divine messages, of forewarnings, and omens. Just like what the great Austrian psychoanalyst and author, Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 06 June 1961) has said,
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
In his art, this young artist from the province where balisong, kapeng barako, and beautiful sceneries and celebrations and people abound does not only share about his dream but also his awakenings and realizations. And for me, as a critic, that is great. For artists, I believe, should not only be sharing about beauty, but their dreams and aspirations, even their failures and defeat, so that they can be a good reflection of the humanness of humanity.
In so many times that I have seen his work, in a galleries or in pictures posted in his social media account, I can’t help but reflect about my own visions, my own humanity, my own strength and fragility. For reflecting to oneself is also giving birth to one, as Erich Fromm (23 March 1900 – 18 March 1980):
“Man’s main task is to give birth to himself.”
And I am thankful that in this lifetime, I have seen such an effective mirror to reflect on, and that mirror is Zorrick Piñero Enriquez’s works.