Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid
One of the earliest lessons we learned as children is that sunlight makes things grow. We need sunlight for plants and animals to thrive, babies, children and adults to have the required Vitamin D for healthy skin and bones, and Filipinos to maintain their cheery and perpetually positive attitude amongst our sun kissed beaches and islands. However, the sky’s brightness also clouds over every once in a while, and Bitto reflects on this concept.
In Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, Bitto uses sunlight as metaphor to ask what happens next. After the longest lockdown in the world due to the global pandemic, life seems to have screeched into a halt. Now seeing the sun takes on a different meaning, making us aware not only of light, but of shadows too. While a sundial’s lengthening shadow cast on the ground accurately tells time and the sun going down indicates the passing of another day, we are surprised to find the days melting into each other, with some of us not even conscious of the current date when we used to treat it as a personal obsession as we chased tasks and i-needed-it-yesterday To Do lists around the clock.
By expressing perspectives of confinement, frustration and suppression in his brightly hued paintings, the artist invites us to his paranoid visions, creating novel, distorted angles for us to ponder on. Sunlight gives a broad and unforgiving glare to places, people and objects; we see things more clearly and, being human, do not necessarily like everything we see, but the artworks take us to places that will enthrall us nonetheless. There are surprising angles to everything, and Bitto’s warped and distorted play on flat planes lead us on a different journey. Delusions and suspicion may exist, but the artist’s manipulation of color on form to create surfaces make feelings tangible and lets us know that there might be some other perspectives we missed when we first looked, giving light to find more meaning. We are reminded that there are constants in life on earth, change amongst them, but there also exists the sun, and its magnitude can dwarf the issues and inconveniences we encounter along the way. This too shall pass, and we will survive to see another day. Unless the giant star watching over all of us explodes tonight, you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun.