When we were young, we were told that we needed to pursue dreams that could truly make us happy. Over time, we worked hard to acquire education and accumulate learning, build relationships, and grow wealth. Then one day, the fruits of our labor started to dissipate. Knowledge was lost to a disease, people to deaths, and wealth to accidents. We were not told that loss and change are inevitable, and that all of conditioned existence, regardless of whether you believe it or not, is transient and inconstant.
Because of the permanent concept of impermanence, people are strongly influenced to view some things, if not all, as painful or as a suffering. People lose hope or become dissatisfied because they cannot prolong what is pleasant, nor take refuge in things that make them happy. Since all things are impermanent, whatever is a source of happiness inevitably ends with a disappointing parting. Artist Sid Natividad believes, however, that if things were not inconstant, we would never grow as individuals. Moreover, if it were not for the law of impermanence, we would never learn the art of living, missing the chance to become masters of the present.
In Everything Flows, Natividad allows time to stand still for a moment. Understanding that water, with its constant ebb and flow, perfectly captures the movement and change we so associate with impermanence, Natividad, a free diver, also acknowledges that being in the water is one of the most explicit examples one can imagine of being in the moment. For this third solo exhibition, he selects the most significant people and objects in his life, and visually captures their moment of tranquility below the surface. Using the energy from the movement of water, he allows his most personal subjects to meditatively float - once and for all, the past and the future disappear. Known for painting the unbelievable kinetic movement of humans and their underlying psyche associated with water, he expertly captures their sensations of peacefulness and solemnity while welcoming the sunlight to dance and shine on them from above.
To emphasize the natural, impermanent qualities of water, Natividad paints in expressionistic hyperrealism that straddles both figuration and abstraction to balance distortion and realism. He uses an abundance of energetic brush strokes in technical shades of turquoise blue, white, and ivory black to echo the fluid nature of water while capturing the gentle ripples and light refracting through it, beautifully illuminating his subjects. His delicate use of light and shadow that shift through the undulating surface allows him to abstract his subjects while enhancing them in each composition. As a result, he creatively taps into the perception of his subject’s oneness and connectedness with water in moments of complete surrender to memory and sensation.
As you go through each of Natividad’s powerful portraitures, you understand how he creatively speaks of impermanence in the visual language of inner joy and peace of mind. The truth is, without impermanence, life could not be. Perhaps, it is not impermanence that makes us suffer, but our want for worldly things to be permanent when they are not. This show is an invitation to accept the law of impermanence as we experience every moment as a moment in impermanence, embracing the fact that we are in a constant movement called life where Everything Flows.
- Prim Paypon