The Unfolding


Jemina Reyes and the Flowering of Abstraction

by Cid Reyes

Jemina’s “The Unfolding”, referencing the mystical process of a flower’s blossoming, bursting into the full glory of gentle and delicate petals unfurling for our aesthetic delectation. In her large canvases, Jemina nourishes our memories of flowers we have loved: roses, carnations, amaryllis, lily of the valley, daisies, carnations, morning glory, chrysanthemums, and daffodils, with all their sparkling evocation of colors ranging from incarnadine reds, warm oranges, and vibrant yellows, flecked by leaves of viridian greens, and catching hazy glints of skylight.

These are not, however, traditional flower paintings, where the intention is the depiction of specific botanical species, primarily for their ornamental appeal. Like Georgia O’Keefe, the American flower painter who eroticized her works through extreme close-ups of her subject, Jemina explores the lyrical qualities inherent in her flowers, while distilling their abstract essences, beyond the superficialities of realism.

More importantly, Jemina extracts equivalences of emotions, which in this exhibition, are attuned to human feelings, ranging from brooding contemplation to joyous exaltation. In “Deep Thought”, the background is a deep engulfing black field from where emerges a windblown flower indicative of a soul in turmoil. In contrast are the other more spiritually jubilant works, such as “Fresh Start,” “Quest for Beauty,” and “Sweet Surrender.” Even the use of monochromes in varying shades of muted greys in a work titled “Once” can present a transparency of petals in a new light. The title piece “The Unfolding” is an amalgam of Jemina’s aesthetic concerns: the painterly transcendence of an innately decorative subject brought to a higher and fresher level of appreciation and execution.

“The Unfolding” runs until October 25, 2016 at the Ricco Renzo Gallery is at Suite 206, LRI Design Plaza, Nicanor Garcia St, Bel-Air II, Makati City.