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Manuel Ocampo

Like religious portrayals, Manuel Ocampo’s (b. 1965, Quezon City, Philippines) paintings and their titles are usually complex compilations of many elements which are full of allusions, and they do not always produce a coherent whole. The widely varied possible interpretations of the individual picture elements present the beholder with a broad spectrum of understanding, but they will not lead him to a final conclusion. In the painting in the Mudam Collection, An Object functioning as a Nostalgic Emanation of Libidinal De-amputations, the beholder may find a reference to one of the most popular paintings by the German painter Carl Spitzweg, the “Armer Poet” (Poor Poet) of 1839, which has here been transformed into an apocalyptic caricature as an icon of the petty bourgeois world of the Biedermeier. A sausage, a vulture, leather breeches, a cross and a skull form fragments of a symbolic vocabulary which is here compressed into an absurd whole which stifles our initial inclination to laugh. Picturesquely set between the gesticular style of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the caustic caricatures of Robert Crumb, Manuel Ocampo’s paintings are anarchistic provocations which violently shake the visual expectations which the beholder brings to the form and content of the work.


  1. Manuel Ocampo An Object functioning as a Nostalgic Emanation of Libidinal De-amputations, 2006

    Huile sur toile
    197,5 x 197,5 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2006
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

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