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Artists Profile: Marilou Solano and Reen Barrera

Artists Profile: Marilou Solano and Reen Barrera

Waking up every day is a blessing, and knowing that we have survived another day is something to be thankful for. In this life, nothing is permanent, and change is inevitable. Life throws us a curveball and most of the time we are not ready. Still, we humans always cope and survive, because having each other is enough reason for us to face another day.

In this exhibition entitled “Another Day,” Marilou Solano and Reen Barrera’s works depict their personal day-to-day experience of what it’s like to be living in this current situation, and how they handle life in the new normal.

Marilou Solano

Marilou studied fine arts in FEATI University Manila. Her first solo show at Village Art Gallery was entitled “Dwellers,” and she was a finalist in the 43rd Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC).


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A post shared by Marilou Solano (@mayuenaise)

Solano’s stories in most of her paintings are based on childhood memories and recollections of recent events. Her art encourages us to dream and refresh our memories, to reconnect with the past and experience the magical feeling of our imaginings. Movies, television series and music are frequent sources of inspirations. Exploring different kinds of media allows her to express her ideas.

Reen Barrera

Born in Paris, France in 1990, Reen Barrera didn’t have a lot of toys growing up. He vaguely remembers owning two or three action figures, he considers himself as a toy-deprived kid. Bored with doing nothing at home, he started making his own toys using found objects, not knowing that this was leading him towards becoming an artist.

He took art classes in high school and took fine arts in college, majoring in advertising. Before becoming a full-time artist in 2014, his professional work consisted of sculpting bobble head portraits, graphic design and illustrations.

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A post shared by Reen Barrera (@reerustart)

In “Another View,” Barrera tries to become as personal as possible, using ohlala as the main character to depict some of his experiences that led him to where he is right now as an artist., In some of the artworks, he discreetly takes on socio-economic issues. Some people are born rich, middle class, and poor. The common ground is that everybody will have no choice but to deal with it. He covers heads with a canvas cloth to give ohlala the freedom to paint symbols on their heads as if he is designing their fate. For Barrera, this is what we all have in common, the power to decide how we will take what happens to us.

Acrylic, oil, and aerosol paint are Barrera’s choice of medium in painting. A lot of times he often let accidents like drips, smudges, and splatters help him decipher what to do. Barrera starts with very loose abstract figures to overcome the fear of an empty canvas staring at him.


To learn more about the artists and the artworks, visit Village Art Gallery’s Instagram account.

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