Ronald Ventura - Photo of the artist

Ronald Ventura

Philippines 1973

Urban Art, Graffiti, Sculpture

Ronald Ventura
Ronald Ventura
March 28, 2017
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Ronald Ventura is the most famous and successful Filipino contemporary artist known primarily for his multilayered works that stands for the miscellaneous national, historical, cultural and religious identity of the Philippines. Featuring a wide and complex diverse of styles, forms and imagery, in his oeuvre one can find aspects of graffiti, cartoons, hyperrealism, surrealism, pop art. His practice is constantly evolving and he manages to employ his diverse creativity in his highly recognizable work.

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Ronald Ventura – The Strong and the Beautiful, 2009 – Image via trfineart

Ronald Ventura’s Career

Ronald Ventura is born in 1973 in the city of Manila, Philippines. He graduated Painting at the University of Santo Tomas in 1993, where he worked after the graduation as an Art instructor for a while. For the first time in 2000, he had his two solo painting shows. First one was named All Souls Day and it happened at the Drawing Room in Makati City in the Philippines, and the other called Innerscapes, held at the West Gallery Megamall in Mandaluyong City. Since then he started gaining recognition that manifested itself in the next awards: the Artist of the Year prize from Art Manila in 2001 and in 2005 he was awarded the important Ateneo Art Gallery from the Studio Residency Grant in Sydney, Australia, for his work The Human Study series. His first exhibition in the US, Metaphysics of Skin, was held in 2009 at Tyler Rollins Fine Art Gallery. Today, he is the highest selling artist from the Southeastern Asia. In 2011, his canvas was sold for US $1.1 million at Sotheby’s Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting auction in Hong Kong.

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Ronald Ventura – Invitation to the Feast, 2011 – Image via trfineart

Layers of Meaning

This Asian artist sees his arts as a big visual sandwich of numerous layers and influences. First of all, it represents the specific situation of the Asian Filipino culture which is a particular fusion of the native culture and the local heritage and landscapes, and on the other hand the profound influence of the occupying cultures of the United States, Japan, and Spain. Those cross-cultural complex relationships bring a specific unease and Ventura seeks to expose all the phenomena through the dialogue of imagery from the East and the West. Thus, this Filipino is interested in the concepts of borders, transgression, fusions, and struggles. Ventura is interested in the idea of second skin because it is an expressive surface for all these cultural signifiers, whether it is written over with tattoos, revealed or concealed. He also tries to broaden the specter of his inspirations, using the global possibilities of the Internet and traveling. In that way, Ventura’s paintings are a constant fusion of experienced cultures, beyond his direct control or will.

New paintings from the most famous Filipino contemporary artist

Ronald Ventura - Forest, 2015
Ronald Ventura – Forest, 2015 – Image via artmarketmonitor

Layers of Styles

Arts of this Filipino and the aesthetic of his works are in accordance with the content in which he is interested. He appropriates pop culture and its fictional iconography, commercial images, cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Angry Bird or Hello Kitty and entangles them with other fantastic creatures and animals. Tensions, vivid snarls and overlapping of hyperrealist images on his canvas depict strong dynamics, contradictions, and conflicts. The Filipino artist also manages to archives these aesthetic qualities in various sculptures he does, mixing the high and low, beautiful and ugly, vivid and pale, joy and sorrow.

Ronald Ventura lives and works in Manila, Philippines.

Featured image: Ronald Ventura – portrait photo – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2017UntitlednTyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, NY, USASolo
2017Shadow Forest: Encounters and ExplorationsMetropolitan Museum of Manila, Manila, thenPhilippines.Solo
2016Project: Finding Home Museum of Contemporary Art, TaipeiSolo
2016Behind the Clouds, The Drawing Room Makati City, the Philippines.Solo
2015Ronald Ventura: Big and SmallAyala Museum, Makati City, the PhilippinesSolo
2015The Hunting Ground Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy.Solo
2014Bulul. Ronald Ventura and the traditional art of the PhilippinesMuseo delle Culture, Lugano, SwitzerlandSolo
2014E.R (Endless Resurrection)Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, NYSolo
2013Voids and CagesGalerie Perrotin, Hong KongSolo
2012Watching the WatchmenVargas Museum, Quezon City, PhilippinesSolo
2012RecyclablesSingapore Tyler Print Institute, SingaporeSolo
2012Fiesta CarnivalPrimo Marella Gallery, Milan, ItalySolo
2011A Thousand IslandsTyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, NYSolo
2011Surreal Versus Surrealism in Contemporary ArtInstitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, SpainGroup
2011Humanime (I)Fine Art Centre, Eslite Building, Taipei, TaiwanSolo
2010Nanjing BiennaleNanjing, ChinaGroup
2010A Duad in Play: Francis Ng and Ronald VenturaICA Gallery, Lasalle College of the Arts, SingaporeGroup
2010Converging NatureThe Drawing Room, Makati City, PhilippinesGroup
2010Ronald Ventura: Fragmented ChannelsPrimo Marella Gallery, Milan, ItalySolo
2009Metaphysics of SkinTyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, NYSolo
2009Major Highways, Expressways and Principal ArterialsAkili Museum of Art, Jakarta, IndonesiaSolo
2009Prague BiennalePrague, Czech RepublicGroup
2008Mapping The CorporealMuseum of the National University of SingaporeSolo
2008ZoomanitiesThe Art Center Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2007Illusions & BoundariesThe Drawing Room, Makati City, PhilippinesSolo
2007Under The RainbowWest Gallery Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2007Antipode: The Human SideArtist Residency, Artesan, SingaporeSolo
2006Cross EncountersAteneo Art Gallery, Quezon City, PhilippinesSolo
2006Dialogue BoxWest Gallery Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2005Human StudyThe Cross Art Projects, Syndey, AustraliaSolo
2005MorphWest Gallery Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2005Recent WorksBig & Small Art Co. Art Fair, SingaporeSolo
2005Human StudyThe Art Center Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2005Cross Encounters: The 2005 Ateneo Art Awards ExhibitionPower Plant Mall Rockwell Center, Makati City, PhilippinesGroup
2004Korea Asian Art FestivalInza Plaza, Seoul KoreaGroup
200419th Asian International Art ExhibitionFukuoka Asian Art Museum, JapanGroup
2004Dead-End ImagesThe Art Center Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2004Black CaricatureBig & Small Art Co, Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2004Contrived DesiresWest Gallery Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2003X-SquaredWest Gallery and Big & Small Art Co., PhilippinesSolo
200313 Artists Awards ExhibitionMain Gallery, Bulwagang Juan Luna, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City, PhilippinesGroup
2002Philip Morris Asean Art AwardsNusa Dua, Bali, IndonesiaGroup
2002Soft: TresacidosArt Center, SM Cebu, PhilippinesGroup
2002Visual DefectsWest Gallery Megamall, Mandaluyong City, PhilippinesSolo
2001The Other SideThe Drawing Room, Makati City, PhilippinesSolo