Mark Copino’s “Meditations” explores one’s journey to self-awareness, with a path that’s shaped by life’s lessons.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s November 2023 Issue.
Mark Anthony Copino, popularly known as “Kidlat,” was born in 1981. He is a contemporary artist living and working in Cebu, Philippines. He took up Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos. After leaving school, the streets became a recreational ground that paved the way for his art to be viewed by the masses. He, along with other street artists, founded Cebu’s most active street art groups at the time: UBEC Crew, The Junks Collective, and later Asylum 38. At present, he is part of a small artist collective called Solitaryo Cinco.
A FASCINATION WITH HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY
Known to many as a contemporary stencil artist, he has found a renewed love and appreciation working with oils in his art. Copino’s works explore his fascination with human psychology. Through his work, he reflects on his own experiences of childhood, domestication, human relations, and the pursuit of self discovery.
His thought-provoking work shows off symbolic subjects and metaphors in minimalist compositions. His aim for cerebral compositions establishes a mysterious yet straightforward dialogue with anyone who dissects his art.
His latest show is called Meditations. The idea for the show originated during the creation of the 5×5 foot work entitled “A Gathering.” This concept draws inspiration from an age-old riddle: “What walks in fours in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three at night?” The answer, “Man,” serves as a lens to explore one’s journey towards self-awareness, shaped by life experiences and lessons learned over time.
Each artwork in the collection reflects upon universal wisdom and interweaves them with his personal life experiences.
INSPIRED BY MEANINGFUL REMINISCENCES
The artworks featured in the exhibition were crafted using oil as the medium, departing from his previous works that involved the stencil process with acrylic. Opting for an exclusively oil-based approach was, in a sense, a necessity because it held profound memories from a significant chapter of his life. While he worked with oil during his college years, he had to revisit and reacquaint himself with these techniques after two decades and integrate them with his stencil method.
The compositions were meticulously planned digitally and then transposed onto the canvas through a grid system. This method allowed him to minimize unnecessary alterations during the creative process. It was also a challenge to transition from using rollers, which he employed for applying paint in his previous works, to utilizing brushes. Completing the entire collection spanned five months, with a significant portion of that time dedicated to conceptualization. Each individual piece demanded more time for completion compared to his customary stencil process, but the ability to work concurrently on multiple oil paintings ultimately became an advantage.
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Photos courtesy of Mark Copino and The Metro Gallery.